I have used this leadership development strategy in multiple contexts, from faith-based non-profits to commercial enterprises. From startups to mature organizations of 25,000 or more. It is simple (William of Occam would be envious) and it works.
My plan for developing leaders is summed up by the acronym LEROY and includes the following:
Leadership training – Develop training around:
General leadership issues. Onboarding training should include a section on “How to get things done”. It should cover things as simple as how to work with your team. Dan Rockwell over at Leadership Freak has a great post that will work nicely as an outline for this.
It is also useful to know how to set up and use your email account or how to fill out an expense report.
Other general topics can include leadership challenges like conflict management. This is a great opportunity to set a standard for your organization to deal with conflict.
Job specific training. This is related to specialized duties. For my team of consultants I developed training on facilitation skills.
Evaluation – Evaluation at regularly scheduled intervals during their term of service. This sets an expectation of regular feedback for improvement.
Reading – Reading (or as alternatives, podcasts, CDs, DVDs or webinars) related to their specific area. For a faith based non-profit I had resources related to group dynamics, a key component of the organization’s development strategy.
Observation – This includes two kinds:
Observing. Observing how similar organizations work. This can be done as a “field trip” and can also be a great team building exercise.
Being observed. Observing to give objective feedback while actually doing the job.
Yearly retreat – An orientation for new leaders as well as a chance to recognize faithful service of returning leaders. This is especially important for organizations that depend on volunteer staff.
There you have it. A simple and easy to implement strategy for developing leaders.
What do you think? Is there any category you would add?