Now that we have identified the morals, values, and purpose we want our organization to live by, we have also identified the traits and principles we want our people to possess, so we can recruit for and screen the people we hire in accordance to those traits and principles, it's now time to further develop our leaders. Through the first three steps, we have established a foundation for building our Leadership Culture. Now it's time to apply the mortar that holds it all together, and that is in establishing a common language.
The way a common language is established is through a leadership development program that everyone in the organization takes part in. Whether it be a leadership philosophy that we subscribe to and follow, or a program brought in from an outside source. The key here is that we have already established that the development program we are implementing and executing aligns with our morals and values, and we have hired people who have the traits and principles we desire in our leaders (and we, ourselves possess), and the program enforces the first three steps. Through all of this hard work up front, we have created a cultural language around leadership that we can continue building on.
The reason why so many leadership development programs have limited success is because they are a philosophy that those delivering it believe in and subscribe to, and not, necessarily, the leaders of the organization. If we, the leaders, of an organization have not engaged, nor believe in the philosophy we are training our people in, how can we evaluate and further develop leaders? This is what I mean about a common language around leadership. If I speak English and you speak French, there is a lot lost in translation and a greater likelihood of frustration, if we try working together. The same goes for leadership philosophies. If our leadership philosophies and styles that we believe in are not the same as what we train our people in, we begin to fragment the culture, and therefore fragment efforts towards organizational objectives.
A leadership development program that each and every person in the organization has been trained in establishes a common topic and terminology that will be critical to the next step of building a Leadership Culture, and that is Coaching & Mentoring. We can't have effective coaching and mentoring that serves our organizational purpose, if we have not solidified our cultures foundation with a common leadership language.
A leadership development program that is put into motion without first establishing the first three steps of building a leadership culture will create frustrations with subordinate leaders. They will attempt to operate in accordance to what they are taught in the program, to be met with contradiction from their leaders, because their leaders have not subscribed to, nor practice that same philosophy. It is the beginnings of a retention of top talent problem.
The last thought we should know about leadership is that when we break all the philosophies down, they all boil down to the same core principles. The key is committing to one philosophy or program that becomes catalyst to further development through coaching and mentoring, and ultimately, creates a culture populated by leaders who operate with confidence and independence towards a common objective and purpose.
Leadership Coach and Owner of Agoge Leadership Developement LLC
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