So, what do leaders need to develop themselves? How can you boost leadership development in your company? Discover our formula for success in 5 steps.
Make it personal
Leadership development is more than a vast list of concepts to be integrated and tested. Success lies in a sincere awareness and transformation of the person. We must help him find his own authentic leadership. The last thing you want is for individuals to be conditioned and forced into a setting without seeing the meaning or recognizing themselves. Allowing personal reflection before, during and after group sessions is therefore essential.
Must allow everyone to ask themselves
What does that mean for me? When have I shown courage as a leader? What are the opportunities I have to show courage in the coming weeks? etc… The theme of courage is a pillar but the journey around it and the implementation will be personal.
Choosing the right timing to develop leadership also contributes to a personal and focused experience. For example, a 3-month program in preparation for a new position corresponds to the right timing for the person.
Push vs. Pull
Push is telling people what to do, while pull is inviting them to find solutions on their own. The best leaders are those who know when to use Push and Pull to get the best results, depending on the situation and the person. And beyond the individual, the way companies train their leaders is often a reflection of a corporate culture and global leadership style. If the majority of your leadership development program is about telling people what to do and not do as leaders (push), you will encourage a more authoritative culture, focused on execution and quick results. If, on the other hand, your leadership development program involves letting people think for themselves, understanding why you do things, inviting them to find solutions and solving problems (pull); you will instill a culture that supports coaching and empowerment, more naturally.
It is therefore a question of finding the right balance between push and pull in your leadership development programs according to the culture you wish to encourage.
This 70-20-10 rule is well known enough to build the learning experience of participants in a development program:
– 10% of the learning will come from formal programs (including face-to-face, online workshops, and e-Learning)
– 20% will come from feedback, coaching or mentoring
– 70% will come from practice
Few companies are able to balance this ratio to optimize the experience of participants. To find the right balance in your business, a good exercise is to:
design your current programs by identifying the actual percentage of time in the program that the participant must spend on: 1) formal and theoretical sharing 2) coaching / mentoring or opportunity for feedback and co-development 3) practice.
Then, build around it to rebalance! For example, you can include coaching (peer-to-peer coaching and professional coaching, ideally), mentoring (involving your senior leaders will make a big difference), collective practice in workshops or team projects, and a way to provide ongoing feedback. This will help you achieve a better ratio.
Expand your leadership development program
What percentage of your employees have already benefited from a leadership development program?
Traditional leadership programs often target high potentials or people already working with a team. The challenge today is to be able to develop leadership skills more broadly in the company, at all levels and in a more agile way. If costs prevent you from expanding your field of action, consider programs that take advantage of an adjusted digital experience (not to be confused with e-Learning), which will also allow you to measure everyone’s progress. But don’t limit leadership development to a handful of people per year.
Measure the impact
The structure of your program should allow you to simply and engagingly measure the participant’s progress throughout the program. Measures for each participant will include, for example, the gain in impact, confidence and performance.
More broadly, your program must also allow you to take the pulse of development leaders, and detect issues to address as the group evolves. Have you had the same leadership program for 10 years?