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Leadership By Osmosis

By: Heather Hilliard          
January 15, 2019 
  2 min read 

Recently, at the wrap up session of a 9-month leadership program we facilitated, a participant remarked that he grew up working for his father’s company and had always believed leaders were supposed to learn by osmosis. Until the program, he did not realize that there were actual skills to be developed and used, that could make his job easier, despite being in a key senior leadership role himself.

The reason? No training was ever provided to him and people were just expected to figure things out as they went along once promoted to a leadership role. This organizational mindset and approach to leadership by osmosis is simply setting leaders up to fail and causing organizations to bear the significant costs of ineffective, unskilled leadership.

Magical Thinking

Given the lack of training for leadership roles, you’d think that its easy to one day just show up and lead. However, we know that is not the case. It is just magical thinking to believe that leaders will figure out on their own how to be effective without providing the training, experiences and development support. Holding this belief and taking this approach simply makes it easy for senior leaders as they never have to step out of their comfort zone.

Leaders Are Developed, Not Born

The lack of early and ongoing leadership training, and the failure to understand that leadership development does not happen by osmosis continue to undermine the effectiveness of leaders. Our leadership program participant said it best:

“I was surprised at the skills I learned about that I was not even aware of, how much easier it makes leading and how much more confidence I have as a leader as a result of become more skilled at leading.”

How long were you in a leadership role before you were trained? How much trial and error did you experience before you started to “figure it out”?

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Caliber Leadership Systems is a Toronto & San Diego based firm specializing in behavioural change and leadership development. The co-founders have written over a hundred books on personality development, behavioural change and achieving potential including Who Are You Meant to Be?. Their new book, So, You Think You Can Lead?, was released on April 17, 2019. Get Your Copy Today! Visit our programs page to learn more about our leadership development & coaching programs or contact for a free consultation.

Re-posted on Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard‘s LinkedIn Page – January 17, 2019

Read the Full Article  – Leadership By Osmosis