It seems like people want quick and easy leadership development. The Board and budget-holders mainly.
Facilitators and trainers just spread their magic dust and, lo and behold, powerful leaders emerge. Not only is our expectation of leaders still in the mould of the ‘heroic leader’, but we expect miracles from our leadership development programmes too.
At the same time, there’s an expectation from programme designers that leadership development is necessarily hard. It’s going to be tough. People will be challenged. Pushed out of their comfort zone.
It’s easy to see where this comes from.
- The leadership development industry grew out of war – and what makes successful leaders at times of crisis.
- It grew out of psychology – before the word ‘positive’ was introduced into that field.
- It grew out of scarcity and the necessity for more – better performance and increased productivity.
So if your leadership pipeline is full of broken people who need fixing psychologically; who are leading through crises, and working in situations of famine and scarcity, not currently delivering – fine.
Go ahead, if you think that approach works. If, on the other hand, you have a pipeline of good, talented people, who need the skills and opportunities to excel, maybe there’s a better way? Continue reading