Leadership development programs contain multiple learning methods, but none impact growth and development to the same degree as experiential learning. When leaders directly address their most common challenges by actually making the tough decisions in real time and reflecting upon the results, they begin to forge behaviors and a long-lasting leadership skills at rapid rates.
CHALLENGE: To accelerate its discussion of corporate strategy, a global industrial manufacturing leader engaged IE to embed a half-day, simulation-based learning experience into its annual leadership forum for the top 100+ executives.
Strategy is the charter of senior leaders. Or so many people think.
We work in fast-paced, changing organizations that have structures that are less and less…structured. To get work done, leaders have to be savvier than ever at knowing when, how and who to talk to. This requirement can be a heavy burden for a new leader, having entered the management ranks with a small network and communication skills that may or may not be ready for the task.
Actor Victor Webster is quoted as saying, “If you throw a pebble in the water on one side of the ocean, you can create a tidal wave on the other side.” The same could be said for the actions of a leader. The question for many mid to senior-level leaders is not whether their choices make an impact, but how big a difference can they make. With greater span of control, they move further and further from the operations of the business (and often the direct contact with the customer). Ironically, from a position of more power they must rely not on themselves to effect change, but on the managers who report to them. There is a deep and powerful leadership development opportunity to develop leaders who “coach the coach.”
We all know that leaders are most successful if they are able to coach and develop their teams.
Being a new manager means facing new challenges and applying new skills. However, in many cases it also means letting go of old habits. Two of the most important behaviors that must be avoided are: 1) being a passive bystander when it comes to strategic decisions and 2) being the “doer” in project work.