You’re spending time, money and manpower trying to develop leaders in your organization, but your leadership pipeline remains dry and devoid of any new potential leaders. Why aren’t you getting the results you want? Here are five potential problems you should consider as you evaluate your efforts.
1. You’re trying to develop leaders fast. We want leadership development to be fast, easy and linear. But the truth is it’s slow, messy and customized to the learner. True development takes time. When we rush development we short cut the process and don’t get the results we’re looking for.
2. You’re not using a reproducible model. If you survey your staff you’ll likely discover that each are using different processes to develop leaders. Left to their own they had to come up with something, so they did. And now there are varying levels of success across the organization. But no one has every stopped long enough to ask, “What are the best practices for developing leaders in our industry?” I’d recommend you communicate, coordinate, collaborate and develop a reproducible model you can use across all departments.
3. You’re building your development on the shoulders of one person. We love it when there’s one person in our organization that’s a leadership development machine. It comes natural to them. They’re passionate about it and there’s a constant outpour of new leaders coming up behind them. This is a huge benefit to an organization until that person leaves. Building a culture of leadership development requires building an army of leadership developers in your organization.
4. Your training isn’t adding value to your leaders. I hear this comment all the time, “We tried getting our leaders together for development but they stopped showing up over time.” Listen carefully. People will attend things that add value to their lives. Stop blaming them for not showing up and take a look at what you’re delivering. Was it boring? Was it irrelevant? Was it all lectures? Did it violate adult learning principles? Could they apply the principles in their leadership at home, work and ministry? Make it valuable and they won’t want to miss it.
5. Your training is not accessible. Leaders today need options. Offering training at one time in one location is restrictive and inhibits people from participating. Leadership development will have broader impact when it’s delivered anytime, at any place and at any pace. This means less control and will require more leaders willing to invest themselves in reproducing new leaders. But with new tools such as Ministry Grid, a new online leadership development resource by Lifeway, accessibility to leadership development increases exponentially. See www.ministrygrid.com.
If you’re not getting the results you want then take time, evaluate and make adjustments. Allowing your leadership pipeline to remain dry is damaging the future impact of your mission.