The Nexus Process in Action
In Part 1, we discussed the four stages of learning and how the Nexus process has been designed around this psychological process.
In this section, I’ll discuss the five principles upon which Nexus is based. These are all based on many years experimentation with on-site practical learning, and have been distilled down to the core, most effective elements of developing leaders with practical mastery.
1 – The right amount of structure
Striking a balance
between structure and freedom is crucial for leaders to develop – expecting leaders to develop their own structure is time consuming and often inefficient, while a fixed step-by-step process (complete with homework) can be stifling (Read Leaders Who Hit The Numbers) and inorganic. Leadership development works best when leaders are giving freedom to set their own priorities and work on their own objectives but are supported and facilitated in doing so.
2 – A small group who learn together
Much like a wolf pack (Read Leaders Who Hunt as a Pack), leaders who learn together experience far greater results. The commitment you make to each other firms up a collective resolve to persevere and see things through to the end. Learning together also has the added benefit of leaders being able to benefit from each others shared experiences, successes and failures. Although each leadership path will be different, there is incalculable value in being able to see the process with a fresh perspective.
3 – Focus the learning on your key strategic objectives
This may sound obvious, but your business is not like others. You may sell similar products or services, you may be structured similarly, but absolutely no other business on earth will face exactly the same challenges and conditions as yours. A generic approach will never be sufficient; your leadership development needs to address the key strategic objectives of your business if it is to have impact.
4 – Include emotional competence
Emotional competence is like the keystone of a bridge: it holds everything else together. Emotional competence is one of the most common and significant barriers to leadership development. It is also one of the hardest to address, which is why so many leadership courses ignore it. By developing emotional competence early, and as an integrated process with leadership development, the eventual results are greatly amplified.
5 – A process that becomes self-sustaining
If points 1-4 have been covered, you will have a group who is self-sustaining in their learning. Your group of leaders will be able to leave the Nexus course and continue their journey’s independently, fuelling their own growth and providing unexpected benefit to the business for years to come.
Developing practical mastery is a long and often difficult journey, but one that is absolutely worthwhile. In the end, the benefits far outweigh the difficulty.