Ok maybe they’re not “lying”, but they aren’t telling you the full truth!
We have never had a time of more educated leaders than we do today, yet the need for great leaders is getting bigger. How can this be?
- The leadership gap is widening, not reducing.
- The percentage of disengaged employees is increasing, not reducing
- The percentage of disengaged leaders is increasing, not reducing
- Culture & engagement remain the No.1 key issue.
I could go on…what is clear is that there is a MASSIVE difference between knowing and doing!
All the studies…all the single studies…put your hands up, up in the club…(are you hearing Beyonce?)
Leadership development is a booming industry—nearly $15 billion is spent yearly on numerous sources, including higher education, learning and development firms, consulting firms, individual consultants, books, and resources. But study after study says leadership development is not effective, senior leaders don’t believe it works, and we are not preparing successors to move up the ladder.
All the studies show big $$$’s being spent and little or no improvement. As a matter of fact one could quite easily argue that it is getting worse??? WTF?
The personal and organisational leadership development industry is well aware that most people who attend a course/seminar/workshop, watch an online course, read a book etc will barely implement one idea, or make one change. We are in a time of mass consumption of content creating more knowledgeable leaders. The content for the most part is great. Most of it is just a spin on what we’ve known for thousands of years. A new label, or a new name associated with it. However, knowing and DOING are two different things! As my friend and colleague Peter Thurin says:
“Nothing changes if nothing changes!”
Spaced- repetition is the mother of all skill.
You need a reason, a goal a WHY burning so big that you can’t help but apply what you are learning, because it’s attached to something…and that is a PURPOSE! Purpose is your motivation, your fuel, your fire.
So here is what all us leadership development people know. True personal growth is a process, not a one time event. Unfortunately, most leadership guru’s won’t tell you, this. They rather fill you with inspirational stories of almost god-like leaders for you to aspire too. They give you awesome quotes (great to adapt to the thought patterns you may wish to possess). They entertain you. They “Edutain” or “Entertrain” you. They rest on the belief that it is up to you to make the changes, which is true, it is. As a leadership development speaker and author, our job is to inspire you with the hope that perhaps one idea will spark something in you to make the changes you want to become the leader you wish to be.
Here’s what we understand so well that you NEED to understand if you want to maximise the return on your learning investments:
- Identify what you want to HAVE (Goals you would like to accomplish) in life.
- Work out what type of leader you need to BE (what does a successful you look like?) to have that? Please be honest with yourself. If you think you’re “all that” already then you wouldn’t be wanting won’t you don’t have. What habits of thinking (Attitudes) would you have?
- How would you BEHAVE (be/have) as a leader if you thought like that?
- Take that clarity and go learn what you need to learn to develop that (the content) type of leadership
- Then, using the same process that got you to be who you are today, with repetition start using those new leadership thoughts (start with the end result in mind of who you need to BE). “It’s like me to be purpose-driven”. “I always make decisions through my values” etc.
- Stretch your comfort zone (your previously automatic thinking that drives your previously typical behaviour) with action (BEHAVE) aligned to what you want to accomplish (HAVE). As per the suggestions in point 5: Make a decision using your values. Set out to do something that aligns with your purpose.
- Then repeat point 5 & 6 on every occasion.
- With the power of spaced-repetition, you will condition a new way of thinking (kinda like re-programming your automatic pilot to a new destination), which will drive the way you act, your behaviour. This new behaviour will give you new results and the success you are looking for.
- Do it again with the next level of goals and success.
- Do it again with the next level of goals and success beyond those ones
- Do I need to go on?
You can become who you are by default and circumstance or by design. Either way is your choice. I will just add, if you don’t like where you are and you didn’t set a goal to be there…congratulations you achieved your goals of ending up anywhere. Now if you would like to be somewhere…see the above.
Leadership development guru’s all know this. For the majority of you out there, they all know the likelihood of you making changes is low and the likelihood of you buying their stuff again and again is high.
Don’t let them get away with this! Take control and shift your thinking. Stretch the boundaries of your comfort zone and expand it out towards your goals. Understand it’s a process. In closing I would like to remind you of two powerful quotes to inspire you (the conspiracy lives on!):
It’s hard to look good and get better at the same time.
A child learns to walk and falls down 50 times. It never thinks to itself ‘Maybe this isn’t for me?
Expose this conspiracy for what it is. Don’t be fooled by the lure of famous names and embellished stories of grandeur. Don’t become a leadership development junkie just looking for your next hit of inspiration.
Do something and BE an inspiration!
Dave Clare, Prophet for Purpose.