There is a world of difference between leading, and developing leaders. “Leadership development” has become an organizational buzzword over the last fifteen years, or so, but few people are truly doing it. Many pay it lip-service, but few are investing time and resources into it. Too many “leaders” mistakenly think that training people to competently perform a task is the same thing as developing leaders. That is why these organizations constantly have so many problems. If everybody acknowledges that leadership development is important, why are so many leaders not doing it? Why are the efforts of the ones who are trying to do it so ineffective?
Those two questions are actually intertwined and lay at the heart of the matter.
First of all, the biggest reason many leaders aren’t doing it at all is because it is not urgent. They all acknowledge that it is important, but they are so distracted by matters that are urgent, yet unimportant, that they never discipline themselves to implement a program to develop to their people. They are too busy putting out fires to develop a staff of fire marshalls who are capable of preventing the fires from happening in the first place.
The other reason is that people don’t understand how to do leadership development effectively. Most people think that it is expensive and time consuming…and it is if you do it the archaic way of corporate America: expensive weekend seminars, hiring consultants to be on location for months, no follow-through, no ongoing education system, and I’m sure you could list several more. All of these things take your people away from their work, they are usually really expensive, and the results rarely last very long. This is why so many people are scared of leadership and with leadership development they make it way more complicated than it really is. The more simple the educational program is the more effective it will be. This is just as true for developing leaders within you organization as it is with educating your children. Simple is always superior to complex.
The solution: do it the way LIFE Leadership teaches. Small, bite size, doses of education over time. My personal preference is to use the LIFE Leadership programs in conjunction with weekly, or bi-weekly, leadership challenge groups. This is the process that is taught in the 90-Day Mental Fitness Challenge and I have found it to be the most effective way to inspire life-long growth and permanent change. The system is so simple anybody can implement it into their life, if they will just turn off their t.v: read 30 minutes a day, listen to at least 3 educational audios every day, and regularly associate with people who are also plugged in to a self-directed education and are going somewhere in life. In a nutshell, this is the leadership education model.
I know this solution will seem ridiculously simple to many of you, probably to all of you who are products of the conveyor-belt school system, but this is the way that real leaders have always been developed (except for the audios…they didn’t have digital downloads 2000 years ago).
I encourage you to get plugged in to a self-directed leadership education and start pursuing your life’s purpose. Stop making excuses and get to it.
God bless Jason Fredrick