Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. -- Bill Bradley
In a column for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, Jack Zenger unveiled a startling and troubling fact: We wait too long to train leaders. Citing research from his consulting agency, he revealed that in their database of some 17,000 worldwide leaders participating in their training programs, the average age for first-time leadership training was 42. More than half were between 36 and 49. Less than 10 percent were under 30, and less than 5 percent were under 27.
The results also pointed to another disturbing fact: the average age of supervisors in those firms was 33. The typical individual in those companies became a supervisor around age 30 and remained in the role for nine years. The result? Most of these individuals are not getting any leadership training at all as supervisors. They are operating the company untrained, on average, for over a decade.
Pivot -- n; a person or thing upon which progress, success, etc. depends -- World English Dictionary
A story is told about Charles Francis Adams, a 19th century political figure. He kept a diary and one day his entry read: “Went fishing with my son today -- a day wasted.” His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary. His entry was far different than that of his father. His read: “Went fishing with my father -- the most wonderful day of my life!” The father thought he was wasting his time while fishing with his son, but the son saw it as an investment of time.
The illustration reminds us how our perceptions shape our reality. What the father perceived to be a waste of time was perceived in a totally different light by his son. It also reminds us of the importance of leadership. Leaders come in many stripes and styles and each possess their own unique approach. In short, leadership development is a work in progress.
A story is told of the Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, and how he was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments.
Yet even Wellington realized his methods left something to be desired. In his old age, a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, and then replied, “I’d give more praise.”
As you evaluate your leadership style and your daily opportunities to add value to the lives of those around you, are you taking advantage of the openings presented to you to make that difference? Here are five leadership statements that should never be left unsaid.
“Great job” -- A leader comfortable in his own skin has no problem giving credit where it is due, and recognizing the work of team members who make success possible. The withholding of praise or encouragement is detrimental to the morale of the team and creates negative energy.
A Gallup report revealed what many have believed about teamwork for quite some time. The world’s top performing organizations understand that employee engagement is a force that drives performance outcomes. In the best organizations, engagement is more than a human resource initiative -- it is a strategic foundation for the way they do business.The commitment of these top companies to a purposeful strategic plan that places an emphasis on employee engagement is not just lip service, but a fundamental component of its operation. The report highlights that in world-class organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 9.57.1 whereas in average organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 1.83.1.One shining example of an organization that understands the power of teamwork is the Mayo Clinic.