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18 Nov 2013

Leadership, The Secret (Pt 2): Training Implications

3 Gold StarsSince leadership’s secret is centered on the hearts and minds of groups’ members, how does it reflect in training? Simply, training centers on assessing, understanding and appreciating cultures, relationships and personalities (CRP) in real time.

Overwhelmingly leadership courses focus on the leader’s development and employment of various strategies, tools and techniques. Using a military analogy this is akin to instructing military commanders to do the same without learning how to assess terrain. Hearts and minds are that terrain. Military training manuals pay much attention to leveraging terrain to its advantage (i.e. cover, high ground, roads). While I understand some natural discomfort in using a military analogy this way, consider that many forces, especially negatives ones (i.e. inertia, precedence, bureaucratization, competitors), influence your people right now. The battle is with these forces not your people, making a military analogy very apropos.

This approach isn’t novel though. We already apply it to our markets. How much did your leadership training focus on teaching you how to assess CRP? If it’s good for assessing consumers why not employees? Distilling this further we arrive at these typical omissions:

Overall, problematical leadership training will focus on leadership qualities rather than styles and techniques to fit different CRPs. Consequently, it often repackages self-help with an attractive leadership wrapper. For instance, did your leadership training teach you more about examining and presenting yourself, your ideas and your strategies or did it teach you more about assessing and leveraging cultures, relationships and personalities in real time?

 

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