Ask yourself as a professional, what do you want to be remembered by? As the manager that always achieved his numbers or as the manager who was singled out by others as the person they learned most from during their career. Of course it is never a choice and you find that a person who is recognized by others as a great developer of talent is also probably the person who always achieves his numbers.
Investing time and energy in an individual’s development reaps dividends of increased loyalty, motivation and of course, performance. So if you haven’t done this already, spend some quality time talking to your team members and identify areas for them to develop and grow.
From my experience, bosses find it relatively easy to recognize areas where a team member should develop and learn. However the most difficult part is often translating development needs into an actionable development plan. As a result we often revert to a shortcut and nominate our subordinates to a formal training course, hoping that this will do the trick.
Unfortunately chances are that these training courses wont make much of a difference and it is more likely that you are just pouring company money down the drain. As mentioned in my previous blog (Busting The Training Myth) there is now a large body of evidence that suggests formal class-room training as the least effective form of developing people’s leadership competencies and that the majority of organizational learning comes from ‘on the job experiences’. This causes a problem, because sending subordinates on a training course has, in the past, been the easiest way to resolve your subordinates development needs as he/she loved the status that goes with a paid day away from the office, along with getting a certificate and a free lunch on top of it.
So what are the alternatives? What other development actions can you design in order to create a more impactful and lasting learning experience to develop leadership skills for your subordinates? To help you I have come up with 34 different development ideas as seen in the figure above. Some are simple, some are more difficult to apply, some might make more sense than others, but each one has its different functions.
I am sure that you have used other ways of developing your team. Let me know what they are so we can build an expanding repository of development interventions and ideas.
And don’t forget, keep on teaching others, because by teaching others you learn even more yourself.
– Paul Keijzer