Why One-off Leadership Training Isn’tEnough: The Journey of ContinuousGrowth
In today’s fast-paced business world, leadership isn’t a static role; it’s an evolving journey. Many organizations invest in leadership training programs, hoping to mold their next-gen leaders. However, a common misconception that prevails is viewing leadership training as a one-time event. Here’s why continuous leadership development is the way forward.
The Evolving Nature of Leadership
Being a leader today is not the same as it was a decade ago. With technological advances, changing business models, and a dynamic workforce, leadership challenges continuously change. Today’s leaders need to navigate remote work dynamics, understand AI’s role in business, and foster diversity and inclusion, among other things. To be effective, leaders need to adapt to these ever-changing challenges.
Benefits of Continuous Leadership Development
1. Keeping up with industry changes and innovations: A Deloitte study showed that 90% of CEOs believe their companies are facing disruptive change driven by digital technologies. Continuous leadership training ensures leaders stay updated and can lead their teams through innovation.
2. Continuous skill enhancement and personal growth: As John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Continuous learning ensures leaders are equipped with the latest skills, whether it’s data analytics, emotional intelligence, or strategic decision-making.
3. Building a culture of continuous learning: When leaders are committed to their growth, it trickles down. Teams are more likely to adopt a learning mindset, leading to an organizational culture that values growth and adaptability.
Pitfalls of One-off Leadership Training
While one-off training has its merits, it’s a mere drop in the ocean. Without reinforcement and continuous learning:
Gaps can arise: Leadership challenges evolve, and without ongoing training, leaders might find themselves ill-equipped to handle new scenarios.
Risk of becoming obsolete: In the words of Albert Einstein, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Leaders who don’t continuously update their knowledge risk becoming out-of-touch, which can affect their effectiveness and team dynamics.
Strategies for Continuous Leadership Development
Regular feedback and assessment: Incorporate 360-degree feedback and regular assessments to identify areas of improvement.
Stay updated with industry trends: Join industry groups, attend webinars, and read the latest in leadership thought leadership.
Engage in regular workshops, webinars, and courses: Consider both internal training and xternal courses.
Case Study: The Tale of Two Leaders
Consider two leaders: Jack and Emma. Jack underwent a leadership training program at the start of his role and considered himself set for his leadership journey. Emma, on the other hand, dedicated a few hours every week for her leadership development.
Fast forward a few years, Jack found himself struggling with managing remote teams and implementing new tech tools, while Emma seamlessly led her team through the transition, having learned the skills through her continuous training.
Leadership is not a destination; it’s a journey. In the words of Stephen R. Covey, “To maintain the P/PC Balance, the balance between the golden egg (production) and the health and welfare of the goose (production capability) is often a difficult judgment call. But I suggest it is the very essence of effectiveness.” As leaders, investing in continuous growth is not just beneficial; it’s essential.