Want to know how good your leadership bench strength is? There are actually two quick indicators to help you do that. Just answer yes or no to these questions:
1. I want you think about your team of leaders, if something happened to one of them, do you have someone in your company that right now you could promote to that role?
2. Does your company currently fill most (75% or more) of leadership positions from within or do you hire from the outside?
If you answered, no to either of those, your company does not have a great training program for leaders that is developing them to the next level. So what does that mean to your bottom line?
In a 2011 Global Leadership Research Project, it was found that companies with strong development efforts demonstrated significant growth in market capitalization over time—22 percent–while those with weak leadership efforts saw a decline in market capitalization of 23 percent.
So, in other words, your development of your leaders or lack of development has a whopping 45% impact on your company’s bottom line. So training your leaders is not only helpful but essential to your bottom line growth.
The trick is what you need to teach them in order to solidly grow your leaders. Here is what are some of the key ingredients you need to ensure your leadership development program grows your leaders:
1. Create a culture where training is seen as a firm commitment on your calendar, not a, if you can fit it in. Companies that have it built in to the performance reviews, have senior management involved in the training and hold it as sacred as client meetings are the ones that see the best results.
2. Make sure your training helps people individually explore and discover, not just what to do, but also what they are thinking or believing that is BLOCKING them from taking the appropriate action. It doesn’t matter how often you tell a person or how logical what you tell them is, if they don’t really believe what you are saying or they hold a believe that is counter to it. People will ALWAYS act in accordance with their beliefs.
3. Make sure your training programs integrate and create a culture that is clearly defined, felt and has strong principles connected. Each training program should be designed, not to fix a problem, but to build a long-term solution of thinking and action that creates collaboration, creativity and confidence for your leaders. One of the things clients love about our Platinum Program is that all of the programs use the Outcome Thinking Methodology so they can use the concepts for negotiations, presentations, coaching, conflict resolutions, and critical thinking.
4. Get all leaders on the same page with the same training. I am amazed always by companies that “patch” their training by sending individuals to multiple programs on the same topic but don’t have all of their leaders going to the same program. In other words, it would be like drafting a football team and stating that since they all were trained previously by their other teams, they don’t need the same coaching book to work out of. Yes they do. They need to speak the same language so they build a culture that is honest, hard-working and efficient as a team.
5. Build in some tests and hard points that really make people face up to how they are performing as a leadership team. We have the ART of Communication Test that shows leaders exactly how their group of leaders sees them in 13 critical areas that relate to Accountability, Respect and Trust. It is very eye opening for someone to rate themselves as a 10 on something and then to find out the other leaders see them as a 2 in that area. Because we have built a solid base of trust, it really allows the leaders for the first time to get an in-depth accurate view of themselves, what blocks them and what they can work on to perform better.
6. Build in some internal mentoring and external coaching. The internal mentoring causes leaders at all levels to start being responsible for each other. The external coaching helps leaders to see where their talents are and what they need to do to become even more valuable to the team. It also helps them to get some objective guidance when they are too emotional connected to a problem.
7. Build in peer accountability. In all of our Platinum Programs we help leaders develop alliance, not only with the SLT or the leaders above them, but to each other. Once people know that training is not an “event’ but rather a committed application of the learning, it chances how the group supports each other and holds each other accountable.
Step back and evaluate how solid your leadership development training really is. If you aren’t promoting a lot from within, you are most likely not developing your leaders. If you read this blog and you feel ready to raise your hand, call us to find out more about what we can do to help you develop the talent of your leaders to create solid bottom line financially for your company.