Whether this means diversity in leadership or leading differently along with the times, today is a great day to consider the state of leadership learning in your organization.
Just like an optical illusion, this statement, developing leaders who lead differently, can be viewed in two ways.
One is through a diversity and inclusion lens, seeing leaders as individuals that bring different skills and experience to a role. Marcus Buckingham has shared this thought: “If you look at leaders, each one will be leading in a slightly, but importantly different way.” Therefore, leadership development opportunities should account for these individual strengths and areas of opportunity, giving way to personalized development. Leadership development through this lens might include evaluating an individual’s capabilities through an assessment aligned to a competency model or leader success profile and using it to create an individual development plan.
The other way to view that statement is through the lens of innovation, recognizing that leaders today cannot operate in the same way they did 10—or even two—years ago. Leadership development cannot be what it was and should shift, just as our teams, communications and operations have evolved. Developing leaders with this focus could include identifying and communicating the critical upcoming capabilities for leaders within your organization and offering resources and opportunities to develop these capabilities.
Regardless of how you look at this statement, leadership development needs to be customizable to the individuals. The cookie-cutter approach to development or leaders or talent, in general, is gone. Now, avoiding the one-size-fits-all approach to development does not mean scrapping your competency models or canceling all your upcoming training. It means shifting the view and attitude of what development can be to help leaders drive results.
This can be done by understanding how leaders demonstrate behaviors within these capabilities, maybe through a 360 or other evaluation. It can also be by building programs to connect leaders across functions, developing capabilities while building relationships—or creating paths offering development as a continuing experience by sharing formal (training, courses, programs) and informal (assignments, projects) development opportunities that scaffold learning.
As you reflect on your view of this statement, how does it relate to your development and how you or your organization help develop those around you?
Jennifer Stangl is director of professional development at CUES. Contact her to discuss customized team building sessions to build strong relationships and strengthen your team engagement. Share your thoughts on critical skills for credit union leaders in the next five years through the Credit Union Leader Success Profile survey. Click here to opt-in and participate.