Why Develop Leaders and Managers?
Colin Newbold, 12nd April 2021
in Development, Feedback, Human Resources, People Management
Gen Z is looking for organisations that invest in leadership development...that's a magnet for them. So this impacts your ability to attract the best talent.
Millenials are much more likely to stay with an organisation that invests in leadership development...it's one of the best tools you have for talent retention.
You've heard the expression "People join a company, they leave a leader". Good leaders help you retain the best employees.
Good leaders keep staff engaged. Engaged staff are more productive, they feel better about making greater discretionary effort. Engaged staff look after your customers better.
"Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. " - William Shakespeare
We all know the importance of self-discovery, self-reflection, or personal/professional development. We all want to be remarkable at what we do for a living. Some of us will want to grow our technical and functional skills such that we become the go-to subject matter expert in our field and others will seek a career in management and/or leadership. In either case, the pursuit of excellence in leadership is just as valuable, in other words ‘leading yourself’ is as worthy a goal as ‘leading others’.
Ultimately, your ‘competitive advantage’ by becoming a great leader will serve you well throughout your career. For organizations, investing in your leadership capability will bring them competitive advantage. This is truly a win-win situation. This article will explore the sources of this competitive advantage.
Greatness is achievable if our work ethic, effort and discipline are part of our core values. We are all aware that education is the biggest and most important investment one could ever choose to make. As a fantastic leader or manager, making constant investments in your education is what truly sets you apart from the others. As the saying goes “Every day’s a school day”! On top of that, all the knowledge that exists within is not only helping you to be a great leader but also creates the opportunity for others to be led by your example and become great at what they do. Leadership greatness is a continuous and never-ending journey of discovery and exploration and we can all make that journey. It takes constant work, valuable investments for our education and a never-ending discipline expressed in our daily life.
Most organizations of more than 50 staff (and some below that number) are keener these days to invest in their people, and in teams, and improve leadership capability to gain an edge over their competitors. If they are not, then it becomes your personal objective to pursue this journey for yourself. “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” The idea of making investments in employee education started to be seen more often as a method of attracting and retaining millennials. Other reasons include the fast technological change and evolution in the last ten years, the speedy globalization process or the structural changes that started to occur for many companies in the previous decade. (Source: Carbey, 20121)
What are the core values/skills a good leader/manager must own?
There are of course numerous distinctions between leadership and management…this article is not overly concerned with those distinctions. In either case, there are core elements that are true for both and what we focus on here is the reasons for developing those. Growing the capabilities of leaders and managers can occur through leadership and management development in various ways or methods: coaching, mentoring, training sessions or feedback programs. See the image below for more details:
Leaders and managers are very different in their roles and tasks. According to Carbey (20121) in his great academic article that I genuinely recommend you take a look at, management is more related to planning and organizing. In contrast, leadership is concerned with creating successful teams, coping with change, and helping organizations with the best possible decisions to be taken in difficult times. We have two main categories we need to put our focus on – (1) implementation, efficiency (management), (2) decision-making regarding a complex organizational issue, future-oriented mindset always ready to adapt to unpredictability (leadership). (Carbey, 20121)
In the remarkable book called “Strengths-based Leadership: Great leaders, teams and why people follow” by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie, there is a quote that stuck in my head made by the father of strengths-based psychology, Donald O. Clifton, “The best leaders get to live on.” This idea made me reflect a little bit and understand the qualities that great leaders possessed, and today’s leaders should still own or at least try to implement in their work ethic. Ask yourself – what does it take to be one of these leaders? In Tom Rath’s book, a team of experts was assembled to study and conduct interviews with senior leaders from different organizations and used 10,000 people around the world to describe in their own words why they follow their favorite and most influential leader in their life. These were their key findings:
- The most effective leaders are constantly investing in strengths
- The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their teams
- The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs
(Source: Rath, 20082)
No one is born as a perfect leader, in just the same way that you wouldn’t want to be operated on by a natural-born heart surgeon. It takes time, energy, effort, determination, and investment to become one. Until others see you as a leader and will gladly follow you, there will be failures too. Developing the right strategies, an incredible set of skills that will help you manage teams of people, could even take years of practice. Living in the digital innovation era brings up a lot of help for many organizations and leaders. There are many compound ways of creating these widely known skills, finding the correct values and building up the leader you crave to be. Lucky you, the click-360 feedback tool is a powerful, multi-dimensional leadership development tool designed for leaders whose skills, effectiveness and influence as an executive, a leader or a manager are evaluated. Including feedback from a set of colleagues, this sort of evaluation provides invaluable insights to the individual being developed.
As mentioned previously, a leader continuously invests in their strengths…let’s look at that in a bit more detail. It is known that a leader must be:
- comfortable with uncertainty
- consistently encouraging innovation, team-work and systematic thinking.
Leaders should also provide for their teams and their organization:
- high performance
- going above and beyond to offer the best possible results to the organization's success
- spotting high potential
- supervision, coaching and support as appropriate.
A leader must be able to build strong, capable, and efficient teams of people. They must seize the potential an employee shows in their work and create systems or methods that will successfully help the organization's performance. They will be looking optimistically at the future, ready to tackle changes in the most successful way. I invite you to have a look at one of our previous posts on how to enhance leadership and talent management.
Email us for more details of the click-360Plus program at email@example.com
The leader mindset
Management or leadership development can be a complex process and its context can be influenced by several factors: globalization, diversity, the knowledge-based economy, or structural change. The globalization process was intensely displayed in the past ten years and the economic ties between countries have never been stronger. This process of globalization can help many organizations to dramatically reduce their costs: advertising, material sourcing, a more extensive availability in different countries and markets. For managers, globalization increased the need to take decisive action or tough decisions, which can affect a more considerable number of employees from different countries (with different backgrounds or cultures) depending on how large the organization's business operations are. In other words, a leader needs to be highly aware of the impact his decision will have and consciously own a powerful decision-making skill. Why are these skills or 'strengths' so valuable, and where do they lead? To performance. (Source: Carbey, 20121)
Only a well-developed manager and a skilled team of people can offer good performance for your organization. They are your most precious asset. Your company could not be a key player in the field without your team or managers commitment. Apart from all the facilities you must provide for your employees to create successful leaders (coaching sessions, training, workshops, etc.), being aware of their mental health condition should be a top priority. Providing benefits and financial remunerations to let your people know that you genuinely value their commitment will increase their motivation and devotion to the organization. It is said, "someone who feels respected will consistently deliver more than expected”, right?
Therefore, apart from successfully delivering their day-to-day tasks and making an impact, a leader should constantly feel joy and accomplishment. To make this possible, they need to be shown respect and attention. Even if you are in a moment when you can’t offer your employees more, financially speaking, just let them know how much you appreciate the team effort, the commitment and performance they constantly display/show for the organization. We are all living through challenging times these days, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has started. Anxiety, depression, fear of what could happen with your job are feelings and thoughts we are constantly experiencing. Investing in service or partnership with a specialist that can maintain your managers and teams of people on the right track (mentally and emotionally), can be a crucial investment for many organizations, not just for the employees but also for leaders and managers. (Source: Juetten, 20193)
Additionally, using a service such as click-360Plus in these current times can help you expand your knowledge base, finding and improving the most precious skills that can set you apart from other employees and, most importantly, build a strong foundation for future career perspectives.
The secret behind successful organizations a leader must know/own
As Marcus Buckingham once wrote, “People leave managers, not companies”. We can admit this line is nothing but the truth, or we could try to find x number of reasons that would explain why an employee will choose to leave an organization and move to a different one. Even if their new job/position doesn’t earn them a considerable amount of extra money or provides seemingly lesser benefits, they will still go for it. Why? Because of the way they were managed/led (or not managed/not led). Organizational leadership can make the difference between successful organizations with happy employees or successful organizations with stressed, anxious, and tired people. In the long-term, which one do you think is going to be more successful? Which one do you think will have to use more resources (extra money, time, people) to maintain their operations successfully, let alone grow? Undoubtedly, not the one with poor leadership. Leaders who develop employees with a strong sense of knowledge, self-confidence, self-worth, creativity and shared responsibility with their team-players are not likely to lose talent for reasons of poor leadership. Of course, making constant investments in your leaders and managers can take a lot of money and time. Still, it is the only way you can make sure that your organization will successfully attract and retain talent – talent that can be developed into future leaders, thus perpetuating the cycle.
With click-360Plus, we can help you nurture your strengths and become a remarkable manager, an incredible leader. This can only be successfully achieved if you want to invest in yourself, in your team, in your organization. To understand what our service can provide for you and your team, it is worth mentioning:
- We use our click-360 feedback instrument to take views from the participant (coachee) as well as key stakeholders that interact with that participant (boss, peers, direct reports and others). This gives an all-round set of perceptions that help the coachee to assess specific development needs
- We coach the whole coachee and pay attention to the interaction between the coachee’s professional and personal life
- We are non-judgmental, caring and supportive of the coachee’s developmental goals and progress
- We challenge the coachee to rethink old ideas and perspectives
- We hold the coachee accountable for doing the work ... we contract with the coachee to take action and create results
- We deliver immediate competency and action-oriented feedback on the coachee’s developmental goals and progress
- We help coachees distinguish what is important from what is not
- We lead coachees outside of their comfort zone
- We acknowledging the coachee's accomplishments and empathize (not sympathize) when the coachee is down
- We recommend specific books or other sources of learning as appropriate
- We encourage journaling in the digital workbook integrated within the click-360 report to reflect on this heightened awareness of emotions and behaviors and to track progress toward goals
- We participate in role-playing and simulations to promote skill practice
- We meet with coachees on a regular basis, with on-the-job "homework" assignments between meetings
- We manage the confidentiality of the coaching partnership. In every case, the official client is the organization paying the click-360Plus invoice, yet the real client is the individual being coached
Email us for more details of the click-360Plus program at firstname.lastname@example.org