Little Book of Leadership Development
Beyond planning, organizing, and controlling, a manager’s job routinely requires teaching and helping employees make sense of their role in the organization, increase their technical proficiency, and behave in an ethical and trustworthy manner. It also requires motivating peak performance and inspiring a commitment to personal growth. In today’s complex and fast-changing business climate, managers at all levels are increasingly called on to be leadership development facilitators.
“Leadership development is not something that primarily occurs in the classroom,” note two leading experts on the topic, Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy. “It occurs on the job—on the fly—each and every day.” With THE LITTLE BOOK OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: 50 Ways to Bring Out the Leader in Every Employee (AMACOM; May 10, 2011; $19.95 Hardcover), Allen and Kusy provide busy managers valueable guidance for cultivating leadership in others. Drawing on their experience consultants and trainers, the coauthors offer a concise, manager-friendly facilitator’s guide—a guide to teaching, helping, motivating, and inspiring employees to excel as both leaders and valuable contributors.
As I type this blog I am flying to New Orleans for a midyear retreat with the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) Board. Upon reflection, I started thinking about three organizations/associations that have truly made a difference in my career, my network and each have fueled my passion for leadership development. If you have not done so, each of these organizations deserves a look and are worthy of membership/involvement.
1. The Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) has an annual conference which offers a number of opportunities for leadership educators to gather, present their latest work and network. Attendance is usually about 150 so the conference provides an intimate space for building relationships and connecting with colleagues. Of course ALE also offers opportunities to sit on committees and serve in leadership roles. In addition to the conference, the association publishes the Journal of Leadership Education (JOLE) which is an academic, online journal featuring articles by Susan Komives, Barry Posner, David Day and other thought leaders.
2. The International Leadership Association (ILA) was my first “home.” I have been a member for almost a decade and like ALE, have a network of friends and colleagues from across the glob because of my involvement. Like ALE, the ILA has an annual conference that usually attracts about 800-1000. Attendees are scholars, practitioners and students doing work in any number of sectors. There are a number of Member Interest Groups as well. Every two years, ILA hosts its conference outside the United States (we will be in Montreal in 2013). Likewise, there are topical conferences held across the Globe (e.g., New Zealand, Germany, etc.). There are a number of ways to become involved in ILA based on your passions.
3. LeaderShape is an organization that challenges students to develop a vision and lead with integrity. Not an association per se, LeaderShape is a stand along 7 day Institute that pairs students with faculty mentors. However, the organization is a network among the lead facilitators. There is an affinity among leads and again, the opportunity to build relationships with influential individuals in the field is ever present. Here is how you could get involved. (This is how Marcy and I met!)
So What, Now What – If you are already involved in one of these organizations, great. Now get more involved and take on a leadership role. It’s the quickest way to build relationships and make a difference. If you have not explored one or two of these associations, please make it a priority. I promise you will have a wonderful experience and develop your knowledge, skills and abilities.
What organizations have I missed? What would you suggest our readers explore in more detail? – SJA
Leaders NOT Managers?
Posted by scott in Deep Thoughts Monday, 17 December 2012 12:31 No Comments
In his classic text Managing the Dream, Warren Bennis works to make the distinction between leaders and managers. Bennis suggests:
- Manager administers; the leader innovates.
- Manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
- Manager maintains; file leader develops.
- Manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
- Manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
- Manager has a short-range view; the leader has a perspective.
- Manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
- Manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader his eye on the horizon.
- The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
- Manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his own person.
- The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.
It’s interesting to look at this list. So much can be read into these simple statements. On one level they are sweeping “truths” that some, if not many, would agree with. On the other hand, it’s just not that simple. In fact, like the distinction between leadership and followership, it’s likely that individuals in position of authority are moving between leadership and management each and every day. It’s a continuum. Likewise, one can begin to see the glorification of the role of “leader” in his statements – after all, as he describes it, the role of “leader” sounds much more sexy, right? A manager sound like a robot who looks at the bottom line and does things right with little originality or perspective. I don’t want that to be me – do you?
The reality is that we need to be both or on a team with a number of individual strengths that complement one another. After all, after the “dream” is sold to constituents, who manages the process of making it a reality? – SJA
Developing the “Expert” Leader
Posted by scott in Developing Others Wednesday, 31 October 2012 16:37 No Comments
What does the “expert” leader look like? Moreover, how would we know we are in the presence of an expert leader? The National Research Council (NRC) (2000) suggests the following as attributes of experts. Which do you think apply to leadership?
- Experts notice features and meaningful patterns of information that are not noticed by novices (NRC)
- Experts have acquired a great deal of content knowledge that is organized in ways that reflect a deep understanding of their subject matter (NRC)
- Experts’ knowledge cannot be reduced to sets of isolated facts or propositions but, instead, reflects contexts of applicability: that is the knowledge is “conditioned” on a set of circumstances (NRC)
- Experts are able to flexibly retrieve important aspects of their knowledge with little attentional effort (NRC)
- Though experts know their disciplines thoroughly, this does not guarantee that they are able to teach others (NRC)
- Experts have varying levels of flexibility in their approach to new situations (NRC)
So does any of this sound like an expert leader? Which of the bullets apply? Which may not? More important, what are additional attributes of an individual who is displaying expertise in the ream of leadership? Lord & Hall (2005) would suggest that there are six specific skill domains when it comes to leadership: task, emotinoal, social, identity level, meta-monitoring, value orientation. So this is interesting…do you think that the leader needs to show expertise in each of the six domains outlined by Lord & Hall? Seems like a tall order, but perhaps that’s is truly being asked of a man or woman who has chosen to take on a formal or informal leadership role. What do you think? It’s an amazing conversation…-SJA
Happiness & Character
I really enjoy the work of Dr. Ed Deiner. After all, how cool would it be to spend your career studying happiness? Take a look at the following link: Happiness & Character. Do you think happiness is simply a genetic predisposition or can some intentionally work to become more happy? It’s a fascinating conversation and Kennon Sheldon is trying to develop a process to do so…