The Uncomfortable Truth about Leadership Training

Let’s get it out right up front – organizations spend billions every year on leadership training yet see little, if any, change in actions or results.  The uncomfortable truth is that most leadership training is a waste of time and money.  To better understand this situation, we need to look at three critical questions. -Why does most training fail? -Why do companies continue to spend money for so little value? -What steps can you take to make sure that your investment isn’t wasted?   There are several reasons why training fails. Confuse skill and perspective problems – This factor may be the single most common cause for why training fails.  […]

Lean Into Your Mistakes

Every human being (including every leader) is a work in progress, on a developmental journey, moving away from the person they have been, and moving towards the person they are becoming. Whether you’re engaged in a formal coaching process or not, you are likely to have development goals as part of your annual objectives, intended to advance you on this journey. Even if you don’t have formal development goals, you’re probably aware of ways in which you can be more effective as a leader.   For example, you may want to… do a better job of including others and building consensus on decisions be more thoughtful and rigorous about plans […]

Your 2014 Leadership Development Goals – Get Them Off The Page And Into Reality

It’s that time of year – you’re setting your goals for 2014, including your own development goals. Yet, perhaps your files are cluttered with the evidence of past development resolutions that didn’t fully materialize. How can you approach your development goals differently this year, so that you actually reach your vision for yourself? Here are some guidelines.   Get real about what’s an attainable goal. It’s useful to understand what can and can’t be changed in your leadership style. What you can develop is usually related to your perspective – learning to see and value things differently, which then opens up new options for behavior. For example, you can become […]

How to Find and Grow HIPOs

The Institute for the Future (IFTF) recently identified key skills they see as essential for success in the future workplace.  These skills include… identify meaning beyond what is expressed, assess information for importance, translate data into abstract concepts and use data-based reasoning, understand concepts across multiple disciplines, identify actions beyond rote or rules, and participate as a member of a virtual team. The Teleos Development Model© identifies five different “perspectives” or development levels.  The “systems” or strategic perspective is critical, because that perspective enables the development of these (and other) powerful skills that improve performance and enhance leadership.  The challenge comes with trying to make the shift into this perspective […]

Rethinking “Experience” at Work

One of my favorite stories is about the young man who wanted a construction job.  At the first employer, he fiddled with a backhoe for 10 minutes before they kicked him out.  At the second employer, he made it almost half an hour.  By the third, it was up to half a day.  The fourth place he went gave him a job because he had…so much experience! I hear people use this word in many different settings.  I hear them use the word to support judgments they’ve made about another person’s capability.  I hear them use the word whether discussing skills or tasks or assignments.  In short, I hear this […]

Learning By Trying To Do Something Different

Action is a good door into learning. We coaches and consultants often focus on getting you leaders to reflect and gain insight on your style and your impact and your inner conflicts – and that has its place. But when you think about your development as a leader, isn’t the point to become able to take new actions that lead to more of the outcomes you value? A good coaching conversation, for me, gets very concrete about what you are trying to accomplish, and what actions and choices might help you get there. That doesn’t mean I’m completely disinterested in helping you understand your style, your impact, your inner conflicts, […]

Have You Created An In-Group On Your Team?

If you are managing people, it’s likely that you are observing your reports in action, noticing what they do well and what they don’t, and forming judgments about their capabilities.  These are important activities, when done in the service of assigning activities that fit individuals’ strengths, providing relevant feedback and coaching in areas of weakness, and creating development plans.   However, it’s not uncommon that a manager will use this information to conclude which of her reports are competent and which are not, and, on that basis, to value and reward those different reports’ contributions accordingly.  Have you, perhaps, done this with your own reports?   Why Your Judgments About […]

How to Improve Your ROI on Capability Development

According to the ASTD, US corporations spent over 150 BILLION DOLLARS on employee learning and development in 2011.  This figure translated into just under $1,200 per employee, which doesn’t include the costs of an average of 31 hours’ training time.  Unfortunately, while this money was being spent, US productivity DECLINED during the first half of 2011, with a modest second-half rebound and zero real growth for the year.  If I were a CTO (Chief Talent Officer), I would have a difficult time justifying this expense, with such a poor return.   At Teleos, we spend a lot of our time designing and delivering capability development solutions, and we expect those […]