The Super Highway of Leadership Development

Your leaders need to be developed – you know that for sure. Like a super highway though, it can be really confusing. What solution should you use, when should you use it, and how can you help make sure the outcomes are the best for everyone?

When it comes to leadership development, taking time to plan and be intentional are two important best practices. Some specific things to consider are around the who, for what reason, and how.

Who needs developing? Is it one or two people, a small handful of high potentials, or a group of leaders? What is the reason for wanting and offering the development opportunity? Is it to obtain skills, further develop existing skills, enhance behavior, or create a common language around expectations? Should it be one-on-one, virtual, in-person, blended, with a group, or experiential? These are just some of the questions and alternatives to consider when wanting to provide development opportunities for your leaders.

When going someplace, it is usually good to know where you want to go. The same is true for leadership development. Knowing where you want the person(s) to be after the experience is important to know. Like taking a trip, it is also important to know the starting point. Where the person is currently will help determine the best way to approach the development.

Three Routes

Three common “routes” to take for leadership development are training, coaching, and mentoring. Knowing the difference between them will help focus the development. As explained in the diagram, training someone (or sending someone to training) should be the approach when a person(s) needs to learn something new, obtain new skills, learn new behaviors, etc. Training is best utilized when the person doesn’t know how to do something or meet expectations. Mentoring is a way to help others develop through the experience and advice of someone else. And coaching is a very powerful way to help leaders build their self-awareness, become more self-sufficient, and build confidence in themselves.

When you take a wrong exit off of a super highway, you still can get to where you wanted to go, it just may take a little extra time and patience. The same is true with leadership development. Selecting an approach that isn’t the best won’t lead to the person failing most often. It can however impact their engagement and motivation. When going on a trip, taking some time to get a sense of how to get to where you are going can often save time in the long run. Likewise, taking some time to determine how best to set the person(s) up for success when thinking about leadership development will pay off in the future for the person, your team, and the organization as a whole.

Explore leadership development solutions to learn more about how LAK Group can help your organization improve its ability to attract, develop and retain a diverse talent pipeline and become an employer of choice.