It is well documented that there is a significant positive relationship between leadership and a range of organisational and employee performance measures.

Therefore it is not surprising that the majority of medium to large size organisations are focusing on and investing significantly in developing their leaders. 

But is the investment delivering bang for the buck?  Well, not always.  Let’s take a look at five common fatal flaws of the design and delivery of Leadership Development Programs – and most importantly, how to avoid them.

AuthorMichael Sleap

Is there a more maligned piece of paperwork in the workplace than the performance management/appraisal form?

"The forms are too long and too complicated".  

"It takes too much time to complete the forms".

"The rating scale has too many/too few options". 

The list goes on and on.

One of the most satisfying jobs in my career was as a student when I stacked shelves in the dairy section of the local supermarket. No, seriously. I worked there for 7 years and I often felt a sense of achievement after a day of work having unpacked pallets of stock and seeing the fruits of my labour as I looked around at the full shelves. The work was highly tangible, fairly simple and repetitive, but enjoyable. But the work of a knowledge worker is quite different to that - it is often intangible, complex, ambiguous and varied, and carries pluses and minuses by way of comparison.

Do you ever hear yourself say or think that you feel like you have achieved little in a work day and would like to just get some real work done? Perhaps what we are lamenting when we say that is the lack of a tangible output that day and therefore we feel like we are not contributing to the team in a meaningful way or earning our keep.

AuthorMichael Sleap

So you want to become a better leader but you don't have access to an internal Leadership Development Program and you don't have the time or budget to utilise external programs or coaching?  Here are some simple steps that you can take to achieve similar outcomes in a short period of time and for no cost. 1. Self assess - undertake a self assessment of your leadership strengths and weaknesses.  Make a list of your top five to seven leadership strengths and list the three to five leadership aspects in which you need to improve.  Be brutally honest with yourself - this is where performance improvement really begins.

2. Seek feedback - ask your team members, manager and any other people whose opinion you value for feedback about your leadership strengths and development areas. The feedback can be provided in which ever way suits you, them and your organisation's culture - face to face, via email or anonymously if needed (however knowing who provided what feedback is preferable so that you can follow up to clarify any specific queries that you have).

3. Analyse and summarise the feedback - read and/or listen to each piece of feedback and try to take it in without judging or defending.  Look for common themes across your self assessment and the feedback as well as one off points or issues which really resonate with you.  Now make a list of your top strengths and development areas - it will likely be similar to your initial self assessment but should differ somewhat based upon feedback from others which triggered insights for you about your effectiveness as a leader.

AuthorMichael Sleap
2 CommentsPost a comment