Leader Development 2015: Human Growth Required
January 7, 2015 Leave a comment
By Linda Fisher Thornton
When we want to prepare leaders for success in the trenches of business leadership, we don’t get very far by providing a cushy “spa-like experience.” We can easily focus too much on creating “events” for leader education and miss the much deeper preparation that leaders need.
What prepares leaders to handle their tough everyday challenges? Their success requires much more than knowledge building. It requires rewiring mindsets and developing new capacities. The best way to do that is through experiences that lead to real human growth. Leadership development should stretch leaders and help them develop the capacity to handle bigger challenges. These recent reports describe the need for leaders to stretch into new capabilities:
Josh Bersin, in his Forbes.com article “Spending on Corporate Training Soars: Employee Capabilities Now a Priority” says that “Global leadership gaps continue to be the most pressing issues on the minds of business and HR leaders.”
Nick Petrie of the Center For Creative Leadership notes that “This is no longer just a leadership challenge (what good leadership looks like); it is a development challenge (the process of how to grow “bigger” minds). (Future Trends in Leadership Development, CCL.org)
The Wall Street Journal article “How to Develop Future Leaders” says that “Stretch assignments are growth-oriented exercises with some inherent risk. They’re designed to push participants past their skill level.”
“Leadership today is more than what you know. It requires the ability to adapt and respond to different circumstances and to connect with different kinds of employees, including employees of different ages and different cultural backgrounds” according to HBR Publishing “What the Future Demands: The Growing Challenge of Global Leadership Development” by Mercer and Oliver Wyman.
We are preparing leaders to handle a high degree of complexity and we need for them to consistently make ethical choices. At its best, leadership development is not an “event.” It’s a capacity-building endeavor. It’s a process of human growth and development.
Leaders must become capable of imagining more, doing and being more, and enabling others to accomplish more in challenging times. Only human growth will get them there.
Recent Leading in Context Honors:
CEO Linda Fisher Thornton in Global CEO’s TOP 100 CSR LEADERS and on Jeff Haden’s Inc. list of “100 Great Leadership Speakers For Your Next Conference”
7 Lenses won an Axiom Business Book Award and Achieved a Top 100 Best Seller Rank in the “Ethics” category in the Kindle Store (June, 2014)
7 Lenses Used by Major U.S. Universities To Teach Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
Over 80 Media Mentions in 2014 Including BBC-Capital and The Globe and Mail
And the greatest honor of all – Followers and Friends From 182 Countries (WordPress year-end report 12/31/14)
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