The beginning of a new year brings new daunting goals and challenges for corporate teams of all sizes. With the rollout of these ambitious goals, Executive Teams often look to their trusted leaders to jump in and take the reins to figure out specific action plans to achieve them. For 2021, we recommend taking a modified approach before you dig in.
There is one piece usually missing from these beginning of the year plans: How do we enable and motivate all of our leaders to succeed?
An easy answer might be to say, “Let’s reward our best performers with a one-week leadership training class…and show them that they matter.” It may sound practical, but how will that decoupled learning experience mesh up with the new daunting goals for the year? And likely, it’s the underperforming leaders who would most-benefit from additional leadership training. What can you do to help them further their skillset?
At Corporate Path Leadership, we believe a better leadership development approach is to cultivate leaders from both an individual and a group perspective, to make sure they are approaching their leadership evolution in a way that directly helps the department/team/company succeed.
Here are four best practices for motivating and enabling your leadership team
#1 – Create Personalized Leader Evaluations
Have each leader do a rigorous self-evaluation of their current leadership strengths (and opportunities to improve). Yes, this may include some third-party tools, but it also needs to include peer input, manager input and other stakeholder input to realistically help paint a picture of focus areas for that leader. No leader will have the same assessment, so being personalized here is critical.
#2 – Gather Team Feedback
As part of this internal evaluation process, make sure that there is feedback on what this leader is like as part of a team. He/she may be a manager — or may just be leading a group of people in a cross functional initiative. It is important that each leader realize their pros and cons of being a team member and any gaps that should be addressed.
#3 – Identify a Challenge
Provide each leader with a leadership challenge to tackle during the current year. This challenge needs to directly relate to business goals and provide the leader with an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. If planned well, the challenge should also shine a light on the leader’s need for improvement areas — giving them a chance to show how they are improving in those deficient areas.
#4 – Enlist Coaching for the Entire Leadership Team
Finally, each leader in the program should have a minimum of 6-12 months of on-going coaching. The coaching should not come from a leader’s direct manager, but either from a third-party expert that is brought in as a corporate coach, or an executive who is not usually working with the leader. This outside and neutral coaching perspective will help to provide better input for the leader, and broader exposure outside of their existing team environment.
If you are seeking additional advice on leadership development programs that can be created specifically for your team member(s), don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have played an integral part in leadership development for companies of all sizes. We know first-hand the value of such programs, and how they can help make individual leaders achieve lofty goals.
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We make it easy to jump start success. Simply contact us and share your current team challenge or need, and we’ll respond with program ideas to innovate your team performance.