I often hear, “We want to develop our leaders, but we have a limited budget. . . or no budget. What is the one thing we can do?”
I hear less often, “Gee, we have money and other resources to develop our leaders, what do you suggest?”
Value vs. splurge—what to do? Here are some thoughts:
Value: Self-knowledge is probably the most powerful factor in a leader making changes and developing. There is sufficient research to back up the statement that the best leaders are self-aware, and one of the best ways to become self-aware is for leaders to ask for feedback from their constituents.
If you do nothing else for leadership development, I recommend leaders get feedback on their behaviors and do some reflection. The Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI) is one of the best tools for doing this.
Research data from hundreds of thousands of people consistently show that leaders who more frequently engage in the behaviors measured by the LPI®—in other words, The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®—are more likely to be identified as effective leaders.
Splurge: On the other hand, if there is sufficient budget to support a leadership development initiative, we can recommend proven processes and tools, above all The Leadership Challenge®. It inspires leaders to be better leaders, challenges them to make changes in their behavior, and stretches and emboldens them to try new things. Giving leaders the opportunity to learn best practices of leaders, get feedback on how they are doing compared to normative data, then providing opportunities for disciplined practice and reinforcement will fan the flames of leadership.
When you feel the urge to splurge, a myriad of options, proven to be successful, is available including workshops, assessments, action learning projects, coaching and mentoring, and webinars.
Where are you on the value vs. splurge spectrum? Consider carefully, then choose your course of action. Follow this link to find out about the options Sonoma Leadership Systems offers.