Looking for Reasons Your Organisation Should Send You to Leadership Training?

Great leadership development progammes are a great return on investment.  The research supports that well designed leadership training provides a significant ROI plus a host of other intangible benefits related to engagement and change flexibility (from a Mantle perspective, we regularly get scores in the 90% plus areas for reported personal and professional value).

But how can you sell the idea to your organisation that time away from the coal face on a leadership course would be productive time? It can sometimes be a real struggle. When managers and leaders  say to me I don’t have time, I always remember Stephen Coveys 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – in particular, Habit 7.

If you are not familiar with the 7 Habits, Sharpen the Saw is about renewal and growth. The saw relates to a story about a woodcutter who as so busy cutting down trees he didn’t have time to sharpen the saw.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw is about recognizing the importance of taking time regularly to take care of yourself physically, spiritually, socially/emotionally, and mentally. Dr Stephen R Covey explains the importance of regular renewal in all four of these areas, to create a fully satisfying life with intrinsic security.

I have to say, in today’s fast moving, complex and ambiguous work places there is “a lot of frenetic activity cutting down metaphorical trees.”

Modern and well designed leadership development is a way to learn what is needed to manage yourself, (your thoughts, emotions, attitudes, and actions) how to cut through and cope with “busyness,” and how to work better with others (interpersonal skills, the ability to build and maintain relationships, building effective work groups and teams , and communication skills – to name a few).

When you continually develop in these areas, you become more effective. And support from a manager to develop as a leader can fuel engagement, energy, and a willingness to stay. However, it is not just about traditional leadership skills.

According to the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) one of the fundamental competencies for modern managers at all levels is Learning Agility. Learning agility involves learning from mistakes, asking insightful questions and being open to feedback. It includes learning a new skill quickly, taking advantage of opportunities to learn and responding well to new situations. For senior leaders, learning agility is also about inspiring learning in others and creating a culture of learning throughout the organization.

“To develop as a leader and as a person, we need to be active learners. This involves recognising when new behaviors, skills or attitudes are needed and accepting responsibility for developing them.”

The modern work environment is challenging and changing, and the attitudes of workers are also changing quite rapidly. Organisations that develop their leaders understand this as to leaders who want the “sharpen the saw” and develop their adaptive flexibility.

The bottom line is that world is changing, as is your role in it… and you can’t change that, none of us can.

All you can choose is your response and “sharpening the saw” is likely to give you and your organisation a few more options!