Many companies are struggling with upheaval and existential questions about their future at this time. It is counter-intuitive to many to even fathom the idea of leadership development for their managers in turbulent times.
This is understandable – the training and development industry has been subject to some scrutiny and ambivalence, as results are as wildly varied as all the different products and services on the market.
The potential fear experienced in response to these turbulent times can only compound matters. From that perspective, leadership development could appear irrelevant or even downright foolhardy…
However, we at Hallett Leadership would like to offer another point of view:
It appears that the very reason organizations cite for not moving forward in developing their people as high performers is typically indicative of the key cultural issue preventing the organization itself from shifting into high performance.
For example, an organization that has command and control at its core won’t want to empower its people through high performance leadership training.
These are lost opportunities that, if taken, would have led to a different, perhaps more optimal reality, during the COVID 19 crisis.
As is always the case, there are companies and individuals which will become fabulously successful through this crisis, and emerge from it ahead of the game. On the other side, many companies will be cleared from the field.
Where do you intend to be when the dust settles and we are living in a new world?
Effective Leadership Development For Your Managers During These Turbulent Times
During these VUCA (volatile * uncertain * complex * ambiguous) times, it is highly likely that your organization is facing the need to adapt and develop in order to continue forward.
One piece of good news in all of this, is that you need NOT panic and reach for an external remedy to the challenges facing your organization.
You do NOT need to read a new management manual, or send a talented youngster to an MBA program.
Because authentic leadership development for managers in turbulent times means every single idea, innovation, creative trend, and iota of positive energy that your organization needs to weather this crisis (and the others that are assured to follow) are already right there with you in your organization.
Where are these resources?
In the hearts, minds (and imaginations) of your people.
Gain Access To Your Company’s Solutions By Bringing Your People Together
The next question is: how do we gain access to this energy, vision and insight buried within our people? (And why haven’t we been able to tap it up until this point?)
Our response is to encourage you in the following:
Bring your people together. Sit before them and ask (humbly) for their ideas. Ask them what they think is not working at the organization. Ask them what they think is working.
Don’t limit the scope of your inquiry to operations and projects – expand it to the organization itself. What kind of culture are your people experiencing and participating in while they are working? What kind of culture would they like to be a part of?
Then deeply listen. Withhold all judgment and commentary. Restrain the urge to defend, justify, or even to place blame. Allowing your people to speak, and truly listening to them, demonstrates through action that you value each person’s perspective, and that everyone is valued as an individual.
They may respond by offering ideas and providing feedback no one in senior leadership had considered…
Direct Focus To Middle Management
Continuing in the vein of soliciting inputs from everyone, consider forming your mid-level managers into a group that meets on a weekly basis to discuss key issues.
That these individuals work in different divisions from each other is precisely why it is valuable for them to come together, share perspectives so that the others can incorporate into their thinking those aspects of the business outside of their departmental domains.
Through open and honest dialogue that develops a safe, trusting environment, you may witness this group could band together like a marine platoon – expressing a tendency to empower each other and initiate collaborative activity between departments – sharing information, and growing new solutions to the challenges facing the company.
This hypothetical weekly meeting of your managers is where practical and effective leadership development begins.
How To Utilize Weekly Sessions With Your Managers / Emerging High Performance Leaders
Hallett Leadership’s Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP), currently being delivered virtually, is a model for how any company can develop their managers into high performance leaders in turbulent times.
The duration of the time we spend together developing your managers is 9 months.
The initial trimester is focused on bringing your managers together and building a sense of accountability among them. The idea is to foster in each participant a sense of personal responsibility for the group as a whole.
Within this framework, the members of the cohort begin creating an environment of openness and trust, where ideas, insights, and feedback are freely exchanged.
The middle of the training period builds upon the foundation of openness, trust, and personal accountability established in the beginning. Here team members are challenged to identify the individual value they bring to the group, and to the company as a whole.
At this stage, the focus is on coaching them to collaborate and demand the best of themselves and each other. Spend time on developing hard leadership skills, like public speaking, extemporaneous speaking, executive presence, and so on.
In the home stretch of the training period, the focus shifts to integrating new skills and behaviors into daily working activities. It is here that the individuals who report to your leadership trainees are beginning to experience the benefit of being managed by an emerging high performance leader.
Finally, it is time to assign projects to your team members. The objective of such projects is to challenge them to devise creative innovations to company and/or industry challenges.
At the end of the training program, your newly minted high performance leaders present their projects and proposed solutions to senior leadership.
This is the part of the program where your ROI begins appearing; where the energy, vision, and insight – previously buried within the hearts, minds (and imaginations) of your people, can emerge into the light of day – providing new ways forward, and new ways of successfully adapting to the challenges presented to your company and industry by our new normal, the VUCA world.
Some of the Benefits
In the event that you would like support in mining the resources and innovative solutions currently dormant within your people, Hallett Leadership is offering our virtual Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP) with a 15-year track record that has resulted in the following trends:
- Developed over 200 executives and high-performance leaders
- Resulted in fundamental culture shifts toward organizational alignment and interdivisional collaboration
- Graduated teams that created and presented game-changing innovations and insights to senior leadership
- Substantially increased retention among program participants
- Produced authentic leaders
- Maximized profitability
- Improved communication
- Healthy conflict resolution as organizational cultural trait
- Increased trust & mutual respect among employees
- Increased retention
- Transformed organization toward spirit of “together we are better” through collaboration and high performance
Leadership development for your managers in turbulent times is a daring move, but one that can bear valuable fruit in the middle and long term. Get in touch with us and schedule a call. We will be happy to chat about your current situation and the best way forward to develop your managers into high performance leaders.