In a recent interview I was asked, “You have worked really hard and had a great career. Is there something in your sights in the Corporate world that still excites you?” The simple answer is YES. There is one area where I am completely driven – a specific area where I know I can make a difference. It’s what I call the Missing Piece.
What is The Missing Piece?
High performance organizations are created by high performance leaders at all levels. The characteristics of high performance leadership may look different at various levels of the organization. However, without it no single leader can sustain high performance across the enterprise. Stop for a moment and look at examples in the Sporting world. Teams that win year after year (sometimes called “dynasties”) do so with a combination of aligned ownership, management, coaches and players. Teams like the New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors, New York Yankees, Manchester United, etc. don’t rely on a just a few great players. They have high performance leaders throughout the organization – and they are ALIGNED in Purpose, Goals, Strategies and Implementation.
Many companies take steps toward developing high performance leaders, though they are often ineffective. I typically have seen half-day and one-day seminars for management development. Mostly, they are didactic in nature and as the old joke goes, “at the end you get a booklet and/or T-shirt as a reward for not sleeping through the power-point presentations.” Obviously, some are better than others, but either way they are all short-term learning, not mastery of new thinking and new skills. These short-term modular workshops in and of themselves don’t address the long-term development of an organization’s NEXT senior managers. And if organizations aren’t building their bench, WHO will lead us in the future. HOW will they lead us?
This is a critical area of focus because without it, an organization must “hope” they are ready when the time for new leadership arrives. Or the organization must “hope” high performance executives can be brought into the company successfully. I have always adhered to the old adage that “hope” is a poor strategy.
Filling in the Missing Piece
So, why is the Missing Piece largely ignored? Perhaps companies fear that they are spending money to train senior managers only to raise their profile for others that are shopping for talented executives. I personally love the story of the CFO who approaches the CEO and asks, “What if we spend the time and money training our people and then they leave?” The CEO replies, “What happens if we don’t train them and they stay?” The truth is, in my experience employees whose companies invest in their personal development feel a heightened sense of loyalty and are far less eager to jump ship.
Over the years, I have had great support from many people in addressing the Missing Piece. Together, we developed a nine-month leadership program specifically for middle managers to become the high performers of today and the great leaders of tomorrow. That leadership program achieved great success over a 15-year period. Hallett Leadership, my company, has reimagined and established this program as the Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP). The nine-month ALP curriculum, which takes place while participants continue to perform in their current roles, allows true changes in behavior and mastery of new thinking and new skills.
Now, for the first time, ALP is available to you and your organization. Together, we can fill in your organization’s Missing Piece! So take the “hope” strategy off the table. Your company’s journey to high performance can start today!