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The FlashPoint team's leadership, team, and coaching lessons from 2018
2018 was another year full of lessons and change in the L&D field. We asked a few of our team members to share one thing they learned this year. Here are their takeaways for organizational impact:
Linda Dausend: If you aren't including coaching skills in your targeted capabilities, now is the time to start!
After being re-certified in the new version of The Coaching Clinic™ this year, I keep coming back to how useful coaching skills are. No matter the context or the situation, coaching skills can layer over every other skill that managers and leaders need. I like to say the clinic teaches how to use coaching for every what in your job, making you more effective at promoting actions and accountability within your teams. Every manager can benefit from continuously developing direct reports and facilitating the kind of performance the sets his or her organization above the rest.
Andrea Davis: Leadership effectiveness relies on daily, dedicated practice.
Doing something well once may pay off in the short term, but for long-term impact, the biggest bang for your buck comes with striving to do a little bit more as a leader each day. Just think: Would you rather have $20 or a penny that doubles each day for 30 days? (Most would say the penny as it will lead to $5,368,709.12 over the course of the 30 days). It's the impact of repeated, frequent leadership actions and behaviors that truly create change. Organizations can and should support leaders with reinforcement, coaching, and other development, but the key to becoming a better leader really does rest with individual leaders: repeated effort and practice.
Bill Mugavin: Leadership and management are two sides of the same coin.
There's an expression that I'm sure we've all heard before: "If something's to be, it's up to me." That mantra is true, especially when it comes to leading and managing teams. Managers often find a dozen reasons why their teams aren't performing, when in reality a good look in the mirror may be helpful because 95% of a team's effectiveness falls back 100% on the manager. If managers don't communicate crystal-clear expectations, take the time to develop skillsets their people need to be effective, and provide both positive and constructive feedback, how can anyone expect a team to succeed? But, all of this is easier said than done. It takes discipline, consistency, and tenacity on the part of the leader to make sure that these fundamental responsibilities are carried out despite the whirlwind of everyday business. If your team is not performing to its maximum potential, ask yourself if you are leading to your maximum potential.
Krista Skidmore: From evolution to transformation: Now is the time for leadership program innovation.
The percentage of executives who believe greater leadership program innovation is needed has increased from 75 percent in 2016 to 80 percent in 2018 (HBR, 2018). That’s not heading in the right direction and sends a strong message that business leaders and learners are calling for transformation. Each year as I review trends and best practices, the crucible is clear—we either embrace or ignore the need for transformation. Those who embrace it will set the stage for their organizations to succeed in this dynamic and volatile climate. This year, my takeaway is that now is time to act decisively to better the methods and approaches to leadership development program design. We have had several brave clients who have made the move this year to overhaul their leadership programs with more choice, more measurement, more personalization, and more experiential components and they are reaping the benefits. As I look forward to next year, I hope more organizations make the same choice—to bravely innovate.
Tracy Puett: Top-down strategy is a thing of the past; today's manager is an important agent of strategy within the organization.
Strategy has never been more important within our organizations than it is in the highly complex environment of today. And I think that organizations have not yet maximized a critical component of strategy: our managers. Strategic skills–including thinking, planning, and implementation–allow managers to better allocate resources, define strategy and direction, execute the plan, and respond when challenges arise. There’s not much time to wait on top-down strategic decisions when decisions happen at the speed of light and situations change on a dime. Our review of leadership trends shows again and again that success requires a whole new brand of leader with strong relationship skills and strategic skills to move organizations forward.
We hope our team's insights provoke you to think about what you've learned this year! Do you have any insights to share?