Print Edition

  Email News Updates

Ask the Expert: Mastering Development

Leadership, team, and organizational development efforts are often challenged by being disconnected from the strategy of the organization, too content-centered, and not adaptable to changing needs of a dynamic environment.

Development occurs through many different yet integrated methods. While formal training is one aspect, it is only a piece of what people need to flourish as leaders and team members. “On-the-job” training, special project work, mentoring, and coaching are essential elements of a comprehensive and holistic approach to development.

An important shift for leaders is from doing and driving to being, thinking, and empowering – to being self-aware enough to recognize that their knowledge and skills may no longer be the key mindsets and competencies that will enable them to be successful.

At Emergent, we believe everyone is a leader and everyone can evolve and transform their thinking, being, and behaving. You are never too young to lead and you’re never too old to learn.

Following are some frequently asked questions to help you identify an optimal development strategy:

1. What is leadership and how do we strengthen it?
Leadership is inspiring and influencing yourself and others to take purposeful action. Leadership can be developed by focusing on competency and capability along with courage, compassion, and consciousness. Effective leadership development is holistic and deals with the totality of being.

2. What is the best way to develop leadership?
Some better ways to develop leadership to become more effective and improve performance include:

  • Putting people in roles and assignments that facilitate learning and growth in the areas necessary to support the business situation and strategy.
  • Providing content training and support for gap areas.
  • Placing emphasis on learning how to learn. Because we operate in fast-paced, complex worlds, learning to learn provides the best chance for adaptability and agility.

3. What are some of the key competencies for leaders to focus on?
Being purposeful and visionary, having a strategic focus, being a systems thinker, having high emotional intelligence, and being able to foster team play are the top competencies for enduring and sustainable effectiveness.

4. What is some practical advice you would give to improve leaders’ effectiveness?
“Slow down to go faster.” Take time for stillness and deep thinking and listening. Be curious, question your beliefs and anticipate changes in thinking necessary for growth. Have the courage to give timely and authentic feedback. And never stop learning.