I am currently in the stages of writing a book on leadership traits. One characteristic I have identified is Developing Others. Many businesses say leadership development is important, but this usually receives the least amount of effort and resources because the return on investment is not as evident or timely as other processes or projects.
There are also many organisations in the marketplace that say they have implemented personal development to some degree, but in reality, it looks more like generic training for everyone, and a standard suite of key performance indicators in something we have called a “development plan”, rather than true personal development. The problem with this scenario is that we are not all the same, and as such development must cater to the individual’s skills, capabilities, future vision, and personalities.
Coaching and mentoring are integral components of Developing Others, and goes well beyond just imparting knowledge. Development seeks to challenge the individual to think or do something differently, to stretch themselves and grow. We are helping them unlearn things that might be hindering their growth. We are helping to develop the person’s character, behaviours and attitudes, not just tasks and processes.
Developing others is critical for succession planning. We are trying to help the individuals’ broader skills in managing people, understanding crises, being able to make good judgement calls, and deal with issues beyond their current skill set to enable them in their career path. It is not task focussed but person-centric.
I can count on one hand the number of individuals in all of the organisations I have been associated with that have truly focussed on developing me as a person, not as a number or a KPI. Why not take a step back today and look at your approach, or the businesses approach, to “personal development” and see whether you are really developing individuals to be better people or are just ticking a box?