Critical Leader not as successful as he could be? Here
are four common underlying reasons why you may have a leader who is
critical to your company, but is not as successful as you know they can
Often a leader who is under-performing generally has
no clue. He typically is outstanding in the technical area of his job
and a low performer in the portions that involve interaction with
others -- the people side of things. Unfortunately, his positive
attributes and sense of strength blind him to the fact that something is
not working in his relationships. You may have even discussed this lack
of people skills with him and the critical nature of this issue has
just not sunk in.
Another possibility is that this
leader may be overworked and under-supported by the company and is
operating on a short fuse with his "hair on fire" most of the time.
the way a company or team is structured can unwittingly create the
performance failure of a key leader. For example, this leader may have
reporting relationships with other managers -- who have conflicting
priorities. Or, this leader may have too many people reporting directly
to him and not enough supporting staff.
There is always
the possibility that this leader is just not in the right role for his
set of talents. You may simply have a great talent in the wrong
Our Recommendations It
is critical to uncover what is going on with a wayward key leader
before jumping headfirst into a solution. Sending this manager "off to
training” will most likely not accomplish a critical first step --
planning. A successful coaching program incorporates a Planning Phase
to uncover what is beneath the surface in these situations.
How to make a good plan for developing your leaders: When
you have determined that accomplishing your business goals requires a
focus on development of your leaders, it is important that you make a
good investment of your resources in both time and money. Many
companies waste these resources by throwing money at the first training
opportunity they find.
Here's how to spot successful training:
It is RELEVANT to the participant’s role, the industry or work environment, and addresses real world challenges.
challenge with sending managers "off to training” is that the
information presented is not RELEVANT to their actual work environment
which makes it difficult for the leader/manager to "translate." Another
challenge is that many companies tend to think about training as an
"event” rather than a "process” or look for the latest "flavor of the
month” training class which results in an inconsistent program and
It is REINFORCED over time and is
designed to develop new skills through practice, rather than a one-time
classroom lecture that simply presents information.
typical "flavor of the month” or "hotel” public training classes, your
managers are getting leadership tips and techniques and are not
developing the underlying knowledge and skills necessary to be a
successful leader in YOUR company. There is no built-in REINFORCEMENT
back at work or ACCOUNTABILITY for that matter, for putting new
leadership skills into place.
It is about RELATIONSHIP BUILDING and increased communication among the participants.
who go off to training by themselves are also not benefiting from the
opportunity to engage in a common learning experience with their
colleagues, exploring what it means to be a leader in your particular
company with your special culture.
Right skills, right position, right time. Just
as it is important to put the "right person in the right position,” it
is equally as important to provide the right developmental experience
for that position. Not all levels of supervisors in your business need
the same developmental experience.
Avoid wasting money on "off
the shelf" leadership development by providing planned, relevant,
reinforced, and relationship-building programs for your key leaders. In
other words, the right skills to the right level, at the right time.