Leaders Who Hit the Numbers – part 1

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The Three Unspoken Failures of Leadership Development

You’ve read ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins. You’ve studied the ‘7 Habits’ of Steven Covey. You may even have sent yourself or your leaders off to business school in the hopes of finding a secret formula to top level leadership.

But so far you haven’t seen a transformation. Why?

The answer has been missed by virtually every management course and book on the market. Real leadership – the kind every business needs but few achieve – can’t be learned by itself.

PROBLEM 1: There is no one set of universal leadership skills

The market is saturated with leadership models of all kinds- Situational, Transformational, Authentic and Level 5 Leadership, to name but a few. You probably have your own favourite. There are dozens of others put forward by management consultants and business schools, each with its own unique twist.

Even though many are well researched and all can apply in specific situations, they each have a fatal flaw: they do not understand your business context. And without understanding your unique business context, you cannot develop leaders who will work effectively in your business.

PROBLEM 2: A leader without followers is like a rudder without a boat

You cannot take people where they have no wish to go.

Sending your leaders off to business school to grow in isolation from those they seek to lead is a terrible mistake. Real leadership is only exhibited in context, as a behaviour that emerges between people. There is a connecting thread between leaders and their teams that must to stay intact for leaders to be effective.

If the thread is developed properly, the team will flourish. However, if it is pulled too hard it will break- permanently. To isolate the leader from their team is to take away their ability to lead.

PROBLEM 3: Telling people how to lead makes followers, not leaders

Think about it: You can’t create leaders by telling them what to do. This may seem obvious, but the vast majority of leadership books and courses are based on the idea that the author or course organiser knows what you should do. With this, the best you can hope for is to make copies of past leaders.

Copying someone else’s approach is not anyone’s idea of leadership.

apples-and-oranges

The Solution 

How best to overcome these problems and start building real leaders – the kind who can really propel a business forwards? In Part 2, we’ll discuss the solutions to the above problems, and start creating leaders who really hit the numbers.

Copying someone else’s approach is not anyone’s idea of leadership.


JohnJohn Sutherland is the managing director of Strategic Resource, one of the UK’s top management due diligence and leadership development firms.

You can read his full article “Leaders Who Hit The Numbers’. 

If you’re interested in developing leaders who hit the numbers, why not get in touch and find out how Strategic Resource can help you?

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