Traditionally, leadership development focuses on competency development. As in, what can the leader do. This might very well be why many, if not most, leadership development mandates come up empty handed. The higher ups want tangible results and objectives they can measure. The focus immediately shifts to abilities and deliverables. Results improve temporarily and inevitably, reality returns to the baseline.
The flaw? Leadership development must encompass the whole person, not just their abilities. We must take Character, the Being, into consideration. Individuals must go through a personal development process as well as a professional one.
In other words, one must better oneself
in order to do leadership better.
We perceive, we decide and we act. This much is straightforward and common knowledge. The key for leaders, especially due to the impact of their decisions and actions, we must pay attention to:
1. How the leader perceives and interprets reality
2. How the leader goes about decision-making
3. How the leader chooses to translate intention into impactful action
The reason leadership is unlike any other profession is simply because it isn't a profession. It's not a competency you simply learn and apply. Leadership involves people and thus, the ability to influence others to engage with our vision and mobilize into coordinate effort to achieve a common objective.
Can you get up on stage and deliver a joke masterfully if a writer provided you with the material? I've tried. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The times it worked I can assure you that it was expressed from an authentic version of my interpretation. Leadership is no different.
Every leader is unique and understanding their nuances helps understand the individual's and the organization's need for development. Each of the following has their impact on the leader's effectiveness with self, others and the organization:
1. Their perception and interpretation of reality
2. Their beliefs and values, their character and personality
3. Their role within the organization, the team, in society
4. The organizations vision and definition of leadership excellence
5. The expected results and the leader's ability to deliver
6. The organizational culture and norms
7. The leader's commitment to learning and growth