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Is Leadership Worth the Investment?

Aug 17, 2007
Leaders are people who achieve results. Leaders are those whose attitudes and actions lead to positive results. Sending your staff to leadership training may not deliver the goods you're looking for! It helps them build a foundation for achieving the objectives,
if they get to implement the knowledge. Big IF, some never get the opportunity.

As a company we have spent time with several organizations who send people to fancy schools and programs. When I say fancy, I mean high end fancy, like creepers on walls fancy. Does that mean it will make your team into leaders. Maybe. No guarantees. Executive programs are designed to make schools successful, not your company, or your staff.

Leadership programs show up everywhere and what value are they adding to your organization? Who Knows. Many leadership programs are nothing more than sales training programs rehashed for management. Some are based on various assessment tools and personality profiles that look to improve some or other weakness in individuals and the team interaction. Some are based on team building and motivation.

Individuals may be better at producing results by focusing on their strengths and making sure their weaknesses do not hold them back. Spending undue energy and time trying to resolve weaknesses may have no value to you or your team members. Team building and motivation talks get people fired up for a few hours. Without a process to deliver results they dont really know what to do or what is expected of them. So the shuffle more paper and surf the web to look busy!

Leaders and potential leaders need to be challenged to produce results. They need goals or objectives to achieve. They need to show their staff and team members they have what it takes. They dont have to actually do everything to achieve the results but they need to put a plan into action and see it thorough to completion.

Leaders produce results!! Thats it.

Remember how Audey Murphy took the machine gun nest, the rest was history?
Yeah? He produced results.
His attitude and actions made him successful. Yes he had good training along the way. But his attitude and actions lead him to achieve positive results. Those that realized he had what it takes followed him. He always had a team around him that would assist in making things happen.

Business leadership is exactly the same. You need to set people up to succeed. Developing a process where by team members can set goals and objectives that meet the organizations overall strategic plan. Potential leaders that were successful in one area are often not successful in their new promotion. Well, they have not really defined their own strategy for execution of both corporate and their own personal goals. Until they do they will flop around like a fish out of water.

So what do you do?

Leadership teams need to analyze their past performance and learn from their results.
Set guidelines for their ongoing success.
Develop a positive attitude to their success. Rid themselves of incorrect assumptions. Thins that never worked before may have been implemented badly initially. Look at everything with new eyes. Change comes from the edge. What is out on the fringe that is what is working?
Figure out what areas they will need to be most effective.
Then plan their actions for the year for each area
Develop a plan to implement each item in the most efficient manner - select the top 10 only. More than that and youre bound to fail.

Now comes the hard part. Working the plan.
Each aspect needs to be planned as a campaign. Plan each weeks actions and determine the results you would like to have accomplished by the month end. Ensure you have metrics in place so that you now if you are achieving the desired results. Have the results visible for everyone to see what it is you are trying to achieve. Get their help by showing the way!
At the end of the month make adjustments to ensure your ongoing success. Are there structural issues that are stopping you and your team from achieving the results you know you should be achieving? Can you fix them? Can they be raised as a problem to someone who can resolve them? If not you are in trouble and you will probably never achieve the results for the organization.
Dont let minor setbacks hold you back. It may take a while before the results start to kick in. Ensure that you are on the right path by checking with your team, clients, customers, vendors and even the competition. Ask questions, check actions and activities.

Enjoy the success

Those that make it work are the leaders to be respected.
About the Author
Graeme Nichol Arcturus Advisors (http://www.arcturusadvisors.com)works with business leaders and their teams to close the gap between great strategies and mediocre results. (Newsletter arcturusadvisor@aweber.com)
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