Event Date: 10/16/2019 (2:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT)
Participants will learn:
- Four reasons why many leadership development processes fail.
- Twelve keys to a successful organizational leadership development process.
- Strategies for developing targeted leadership skills in a relatively small period of time.
- How to create relevant learning experiences to build leadership skills.
You should attend if you are:
- A training or HR professional who delivers training.
- An independent training consultant.
- A manager who delivers or purchases training as part of their role.
Presented by: Kevin Eikenberry
What is next? How do you identify gaps?
We are all given a unique set of talents when we are born. While these abilities help us to evolve as leaders, others need to be nurtured and developed. Truly remarkable leaders become remarkable through a continuous and upward climb of learning.
Based on the acclaimed book, “Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time,” author Kevin Eikenberry sets out to challenge participants to be more intentional about what, when, and how they learn. Remarkable Leadership: A Learning Series offers a flexible and practical learning experience for leaders at all levels.
What is a realistic or reasonable timeline framework for the overall process?
It is very hard to project and predict what timeline is needed for developing leaders. Different people need different timelines for their development, so it’s hard to come up with a specific suggestion on timeline.
But because “soft-skills” like being motivational, communicating clearly, building teamwork, and other leadership skills are difficult to change, leaders need to continually work to develop these skills. Often the best approach is determining what skills are most needed, then providing an effective training event for leaders, and following the event up with coaching and reinforcement for changed behaviors.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither are the skills of the good leaders in this world. As we mentioned in the webinar, we encourage trainers in companies to not have a “flavor of the month” that is here today and gone tomorrow. Instead we want trainers to keep working the skill development that they have targeted for their managers.
How to develop people when there’s not room for them to move up (i.e., fairly flat org)
Anyone can develop their leadership skills no matter what the rank in the organization. A janitor, an entry level-clerk, an apprentice, or anyone can develop and use leadership skills.
Too many people think they have to develop their “technical” skills in order to do better in their job. So accountants, engineers, purchasers, draft designers, software installers, etc. are always looking for technical skill training. Meanwhile their “leadership” skills are lacking and hurting their competence. Those skills include communication, writing, negotiating, collaborating, and so on.
So our HRDQ consultants help people in every type of organization learn how to motivate, inspire, build teamwork, delegate, get consensus, etc.
In answering “how to develop people…”, we believe you develop their “people” skills. In this way they can work better in their jobs, and if perhaps an opportunity to move up happens, they will have demonstrated that they are capable of handing those leadership roles they will be expected to have.
Too often we have seen employees promoted only because of their technical skills. So when they become the boss, they are not capable of leading effectively.
You might browse our Reproducible Training Library (RTL) for options to develop people. There’s a lot of choices that will help employees improve their performance!
How can you help people be more self-aware on a coaching level or daily communications rather than a training program?
Continual coaching, with good feedback, can make people more self-aware than a one-time training event.
We recommend using one of the HRDQ assessments to help the coachee see themselves as they currently are.
Once the coach and coachee review the results together, they can work on seeing where there are gaps in the coachee’s performance that need adjustment. The Personality Style at Work Core Profile Plus has a “Coaching Report” to help guide the coach.
Sara: Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Leadership Development, 12 Ways to Develop Remarkable Leaders hosted by HRDQ-U and presented by Kevin Eikenberry. My name is Sara and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last about an hour so if you have any questions, go ahead and type them into your go-to webinar control panel. There’s a questions area. If you click on that little arrow, open it up, you can type in there, hit submit, that will come right to us. We’ll either answer those as we can throughout the session, at the end of the session or afterwards by email.
Today’s webinar content is from the workshop, Remarkable Leadership. So if you are interested in delivering this training within your organization, please reach out to HRDQ. Now, you can see without further ado here, our presenter is Kevin Eikenberry. Kevin is the Chief Potential Officer of the Eikenberry Group, a learning and consulting company that provides a wide range of services including training delivery and design, facilitation, leadership coaching, organizational consulting and speaking services. His expertise includes leadership teams and facilitation.
Kevin has worked with many major organizations such as Cirque du Soleil, Chevron, John Deere and Southwest Airlines. In addition, he is the author of many books, including, Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time, From Bud to Boss: Secrets to a Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership and Vantage Points on Learning and Life. And he was recently named by ink.com as one of the top 100 management and leadership thinkers in the world.
Welcome Kevin, and thank you for joining us today.
Kevin E.: Hey, it’s a pleasure. I’m glad to be with you all and I’m excited to get started. So I think that’s my cue, Sara? So we’re going to get started. I’m glad that you all are here. I can get my slides. There were go. I’m glad that you’re all here. I’m excited that you’re here and while I don’t know exactly who everybody is, I am pretty sure that you are in some kind of HR role, you’re in some sort of organization development role, you’re in training or learning, you’re in line management.
Your job title could be manager, or senior manager, or team leader, or director or VP. You could be at the C-level. You might be someone else. You might be a trainer, you might be an individual contributor, you might be an individual leader. Regardless of your job title, I am glad you’re here and I’m … Here’s what I’m pretty sure that I know about you, that you’re here because, excuse me, because you care about the success of your organization and you know that in order for us to be successful as an organization, we have to develop our leaders because our leaders are a contributor to that success.
We can’t have a level of success that we want without leaders that help us get there. So at some level, you have some need to improve in that area, right? You’re saying, “12 ways to improve leaders, that would’ve been a good thing for me.” I want to figure out how we can make it better for our leaders. So I’m going to tell you a little bit about what we’re going to do. I’m going to give you a roadmap of our time together.
What you’re going to discover is what the reasons are as to why you’re in this situation. And some of them, you might recognize and some of them might … you might not have thought of but are probably true. We’re going to give you a model to help you understand the situation and how … and a framework from which to work. We’re going to give you the specific actions to take as the title of the webinar says, 12 things, probably going to give you actually more than 12, but we’re going to give you specific actions to take and we’re going to help you decide what you need to do first.
And not everyone is in the same place and that’s okay. And if you’re here and you have a pretty developed-out program, great. If you’re here and you don’t have anything, also great. Either way, this is going to be useful and helpful to you. So what I also know is that you’re here because you want some things to happen. You want to reduce the frustration that is around all of this, right? If you know that your leaders need to be better, you probably have some frustration in the organization about the situation.
You want to literally and specifically improve the leader skills in your organization. You want to build greater productivity in the organization. In fact, that could be one of the underlying reasons why you want to do this. We need to get more productivity, we need to have higher levels of innovation. Whatever it is that’s driving your business, you know that leaders can help move us in that direction and so you’re trying to gain those things and you’re wanting to solve this problem and it is a problem, right, because your leaders aren’t delivering.
If you’re not able to develop or developing the leaders, building the leadership pipeline that you want, it’s a problem and you’d like to have some solutions and that’s why we’re here, okay? So although Sara did introduce me briefly a moment ago, you might be wondering, well, why is Kevin qualified to have this conversation with us? So I thought I’d say just a little bit more about me.
And from the introduction, you know that I have been doing this for a long time and I have been coaching leaders and training leaders and being a consultant to organizations and I’ve been writing about leadership for a long time. I have seen the problems firsthand. I want to be part of the solution, that’s what the business that I’m in is all about, it’s helping more leaders make a bigger and better difference in the world.
And we’ve been helping organizations overcome these problems. We’ve been helping organizations develop leaders for 25 years. And what’s not on the slide that’s also true is that I’m a leader myself. So I think one of the things that I bring to the table that you might not always get with folks that do what we do is that you get an extremely practical approach because I’m trying to build leaders in my organization as well and because I’ve been trying to develop myself for 30 years, I’ve learned some things from that exercise as well.
I do bring for you for the perspective of today, I bring you an external perspective that gets you outside of your current thinking that’s why you want to come to webinars like this and why I’m sure it’s not your first HRDQ webinar and I hope it’s not your last. We’ve been studying this problem for a long time and we’ve been helping organizations and individual leaders get great results. So that’s why I’m here, that’s why HRDQ has asked me to come. So with all of that as preamble, it’s time to get started.
So let’s actually get started. I said the first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about the situation that you find yourself in. So why is this such an issue now? People have been thinking about it and talking about leadership development for a long time but more is written about it all of the time and there are some drivers and some reasons why. There are some reasons why you’re probably feeling the frustration probably at some level where you’re here.
Number one is organizations continue to get flatter. Well, what that means for leaders is that when they get to a leadership role, they have a larger span of control most likely, more direct reports than they might have … When I was younger and had my first leadership role, I had a couple of direct reports. And a lot of people, they moved into a small team but oftentimes now, it’s longer before we become leaders and when we become leaders, we got a broader span of control in this flatter organization. So every jump is a bigger jump and the first one can be exceptionally challenging.
And in many industries, we’ve got a tremendous amount of experience drain going on. We got a lot of people that stayed around in the workplace longer than they had originally planned. After their 401(k) became a 201k, they said, “I’m going to work a little longer than I did before.” So we’ve got a lot of organizations dealing right now with a big need for leadership development because they’ve got a lot of leaders leaving.
And they may be leaving because they’re retiring but they may be leaving because they think the grass is greener. Full employment is a huge reality that we deal with now and from a leadership perspective, it’s twofold piece. One is some folks are probably trying to poach your leaders in one of the ways to get them to stay, or to have … encourage them to stay as to give them a clear picture of how you’re going to help them develop their skills.
But the other side of the full employment problem if you will is that you have folks on teams, individual contributors who are looking around and the number one reason people voluntarily leave a job is they fire their boss. So if you’ve got a lot of turnover right now, one of the reasons could very well be that you’ve got some leaders that aren’t really where you need them to be, source of some of your frustration perhaps.
We’ve got an ongoing change in the expectations of work, the expectations of leaders, where people are working as more and more people are working remotely, technology continues to change and change is just happening faster overall. And since leaders are in the change business, we have to keep our leaders ready and able and to adapt, be flexible and be successful. And the other reason why we have to deal with this today is we’ve never really cracked this code.
We’ve been trying to figure out how to develop leaders for a long time and yet, you’re not the only one on this webinar. There are other people with the same challenges and the same questions that you have. There’s a lot of things we’ve learned, very few people have really got the whole picture figured out. We’re going to give you some ideas today that will help you move to that direction. So this is why this is … maybe seems more pressing to you or why you’re hearing more from those leaders above you as to why this is so critical from the business perspective today.
So why does all of this matter? Well, this matters because you can’t grow and thrive in your organization without leaders. And if you don’t have successful leaders that are growing, you can’t grow the business. You can’t grow and thrive. And really, nothing is going to happen. No change is going to occur if we don’t have successful leaders. And since I’m guessing you don’t want the status quo, that you don’t want to keep things the way they are, that means you need leaders who are more effective so that they can drive the organization in the direction you’re trying to go.
And the reality is that leadership is leverage, that an investment in developing leaders is a lever across a great number of people because all of the leaders are impacting and influencing a lot of other folks. So all of … We know why we’ve got a problem, we know why it matters, so now, I want to know, and so this is your first chance for you to type, get your fingers out and type in that question pane, what are your challenges?
I’ve laid out what I see going on in the world and what our clients are telling us, but I’m curious what your challenges are because I want to know that as I walk through the rest of this with you. So if you’ll take just a second to do that, that would be really great. What are your challenges? Why are you here? What are you hoping to get? Okay, anybody? Just put them in.
Now, I see them popping up but … Sara, would you just … so I don’t have to put on my glasses, I’m just vain enough. So can you just share some of those for us?
Sara: Sure. Absolutely. How to deal with a micro manager. Getting leaders on board with change. Staff turnover is coming up a couple of times here. This is an interesting one, deciding on the leadership competencies against the organization needs.
Kevin E.: Yeah, we’re going to talk a little bit about that before we’re done. Yeah. What else?
Sara: A company with many leaders that are new people managers. They’ve grown within the organization.
Kevin E.: Okay.
Sara: Buying into the vision. This is interesting, developing a culture of trust. And a lot on change with leaders, getting leaders to adopt innovative solutions, getting leaders on board with changes, leaders coming in from a new role, that kind of internal growth.
Kevin E.: Yeah. Perfect. Well, we probably are more because there’s a lot of folks here and I see stuff still scrolling in. We’re going to move on.
Kevin E.: If you see something else, Sara, that comes in when we get later on, if you want to share a couple more, that would be great. But that gives me some context and it gives me some things to make sure that we connect with you all on. That item about staff turnover, I just want to go back to what I said a couple of minutes ago, and that is if you have … if you’re having a lot of turnover, you’ve got to look at leadership as being one of the challenges.
People are very often … They may say they’re leaving for a little more money, and that may be part of it, but the survey after survey says that the number one reason people voluntarily leave a job is that they fire their boss. So if that’s a challenge that you’re facing, then you’re in the right place for us to talk about this and think about this together for a little bit, okay?
So it is definitely broken. Leadership development in most organizations is broken at some level for all of the reasons we’ve just identified, for some of the issues and some of the challenges that you’ve just described and as Sara has just shared with me. But here’s the way I like to think about this, that really what we have is the insanity problem.
Now, you all know what the insanity definition is, right? Doing the same thing and expecting a new result. And fundamentally, that’s what organizations are doing. They go back to the well and do some more leadership development mostly like they did the last time and they expected to somehow be magically better the next time than it was the last time. And because the problem is getting bigger, we just really are just increasing the rate of the insanity.
Now when you put it that way, it should make us all feel just a little bit sheepish. I don’t say it to be mean, I say it because that’s what’s really happening in lots of places. We got to do something. So we end up doing things that sound a little bit like this, do you recognize any of these things? Do you recognize people saying, “Well, that’s just the flavor of the month”? I was talking with a client just the other day, an organization that’s recently won an award for how they develop their team members, and they’re hearing, “Well, you’re doing more stuff. It’s just the next thing. It’s just the flavor of the month.”
Or we just … We do something. We got to do something. We got all these leadership challenges so we’re going to spray everybody and pray that something works. And well, the last thing didn’t work so we’ll change programs. We’ll pick a new guru. We’ll find another expert. We’ll just change horses and think that with a new expert, it will get better. We’re out there looking for the magic bullet.
But every once in a while, we get some glimmers of hope. We have one session that goes really well, we have some anecdotal data about some leaders that really benefited from some of the things that we implemented. So the glimmers of hope keep us coming back to the well to keep doing it but at some level, we get frustrated and we resign ourselves to well, it’s … we’re just going to get what we’re going to get. Leadership development is what it is and we’ll get a little improvement for a while, we’ll get a little blip and then things will settle back down and eventually, we might give up.
Now, I am not by nature a cynical person. So the things on this list may sound a little cynical and they perhaps are and yet, here’s the fact. This is happening. And I’m guessing that even if you’re like me and a more optimistic person, you have probably felt some of these things. You probably heard some of these things and I’m suggesting that we’ve got to stop the insanity. Oops. We’ve got to stop the insanity. We’ve got to stop. If we want to make it better and we have good solid organizational reasons to do it, we need to come up with a better way to look at it.
So my slide slipped ahead so let me take us to that slide because what I want to share with you is a model. It’s what I promised you that I would share. So this is going to be framework that we’re going to work on for a few minutes. Now, look at this quickly. We’re going to go into each of these pieces a little bit more, but look at this quickly. Notice that there are these two big things underneath of leadership development. Don’t worry, later on, I’ll put some more words inside of that center circle.
But the point that I’m trying to make here is there’s more to this than just, let’s do some leadership development. Let’s schedule a class. Let’s buy some great materials from HRDQ and think we’ve solved the problem. What we need to do is perhaps use some great materials from HRDQ as part of, excuse me, part of what we’re doing but it’s got to be placed in a context. So what you see here is there’s an organizational component or context, there’s a personal component about the individual leaders who are going to be engaged in the leadership development.
And then, only then can we really get at the leadership development stuff itself. Most of us want to go immediately to the center circle, and I want to talk about all three things a little bit first, okay? So excuse me, as I’ve already said, there are three components. And if you want to have greater success at doing this, it’s going to take all three. It’s going to take some time thinking about all three. So it’s first things first which means what? It means the two components underneath must be considered.
If we want to improve the chances, we have great success with our programming and with our processes. In other words, if we just keep reinventing the center circle, we get all that stuff we just talked about a few minutes ago. However good the stuff we build or use is, without the underlying components, it’s never going to be as successful as we want it to be. And I would say that in most organizations, the personal component is seldom considered.
Now, if you’re sitting here and you’re a trainer, you say, “Well wait a minute, I’m thinking about those things”, in the room, and that’s probably true. But what I’m saying is we’re not strategically and systemically thinking about the stuff in that personal component, and I’m going to get to a slide and talking about that a little bit more, but I wanted to make that overall observation that sometimes, people say, “Well, we think a little bit about the organizational piece”, and you use it in context with what we developed for leadership development. But very few people are spending much time on the personal component, but let’s talk about each of the three now.
And by the way, before I go any further, we will … I will probably stop for questions here in a little while and then certainly, we will do it at the end. But if you have them, since we have the survey, a synchronous way to ask them, anytime you’ve got it, you go in and type it in, Sara will see them and then we’ll take care of them as we go. So you don’t have to necessarily hold your question, you can ask it whenever. And we’ll stop a couple of times as well as at the end as well, okay?
Organizational component. The organizational component. Well, you can see the slide there. You can see the pieces. It includes leadership commitment and a whole lot more. Let’s walk through some of these pieces. First, leadership commitment. Well, that’s not the first time you’ve heard that. We need senior leadership commitment do anything. We’re going to do around leadership development and that’s true. We do need the top to be committed, but that’s not the only people I’m talking about here.
I’m not just getting someone to buy in and write the check. I’m not just talking about maybe having someone recording a video that we use in our programming, although that’s a great idea or someone that comes and teaches some small piece of the program, although that’s a great idea. That’s not the only thing I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about here is the next level, and what I mean by the next level is the leader of the leaders. The leader of the supervisor of the people who you are going to be developing.
They are a critical component to this. Do they understand what’s being taught? Because if they don’t know what’s being taught, how can they support it in the workplace? How can they coach to it? How can they expect it? If they’re not in that loop, how … they are a critical part of the success and often, not included, considered or time spent beyond nodding your head with what I just said to help those folks really get involved. So the next thing is we’ve got to make sure that whatever we develop in terms of developing our leaders is connected to our purpose and our strategy.
So the one comment, Sara, that came up was the one about competencies, right? Lots of organizations have created a list of competencies but the way that that question was asked or the way that that challenge was asked was I think very insightful because how … the challenge is how do we create the competencies that match up with what we need in our organization which is I think pretty much what was said. That’s the right way to ask the question.
You can go anywhere and pull out competencies and no one would probably argue that those are valuable. But the most important thing is what does it mean to lead here? How do those leadership skills or competencies help us achieve our strategies and help us reach our organizational purpose? Those are the kinds of questions we’ve got to be asking. We’ve got to be connecting. The leaders are the folks who are leading us in the direction of that purpose. They are the people that are responsible for that strategy.
We need to make sure that we’re building the skills, supporting the skills, encouraging the skills, expecting the skills that are most valuable for us, given our purpose, given our strategy, given our culture. And we have to think about this as an investment because you don’t develop new leaders overnight. You don’t make them highly successful overnight. One of the expectations there was we got a whole bunch of brand new people leaders. They’ve been in the organization, they know the organization but they don’t know how to lead. So man, we’ve got to invest in them.
You’re not going to solve it in a day or week or a short program. And when you think about investing in anything, what is it? It’s a significant number that we’re expecting a return on over time. It’s not an expense, it’s something that we’re getting a return on that investment over time. We have to think about it that way at all levels if we want this to make sense because the investment needs to be tied to what we’re trying to accomplish in the organizational context in which we are living and working. We have to have clear expectations.
And what I mean here are that … at multiple levels. We need clear expectations of what we want the leadership development process to achieve. We need clear expectations from the organizational leaders as to how they will support the leaders and the programs. We need clear expectations of those individual leaders that they know what’s expected of them, they will what they will be held accountable for. It’s super important. I could spend the whole rest of our time just on this organizational component.
I’m going to want to give you the rest of the framework and I want to give you … While I think you’re probably getting … hopefully, you’re getting some great ideas already, I’m going to give you a 12 item list of things that you can do as promised. It will come from this framework, but let’s continue on. The second component as you can see there is the personal component, and let’s talk about that a little bit. This is the people who are going to be in the training in the learning. These are your students if you will. These are the leaders we are developing.
We must ascertain their level of commitment to their own development and we need to gain their commitment because if they’re not really all that excited about it, probably not a really good investment. So we may have some influencing to do to get people to a live of commitment that says, “I’m excited about this and I want to get better as a leader.” We build commitment and ascertain commitment and build commitment by asking questions to understand what’s going on. And a big piece of this that we often leave out as well is self-awareness.
The most effective learners of anything as complex as leadership have to have some level of self-awareness about where they are and what they are good at, are not good at and all of that. And we need to build ways to help people be more self-aware because once they are more self-aware, they’re likely to be more committed. And self-awareness is such a critical skill in and of itself for being a more effective leader that the more we can help people in that are, the better off we will be not only for them as learners but as practitioners as well.
Next, we want to make sure that we’re aligning expectations. So all that expectation stuff we talked about on the organizational component, now, we’ve got to make sure that these leaders know what’s expected of them during these learning experiences and what’s expected of them when they come home from those learning experiences. I use home as if they’re actually traveling. Of course, they may not be maybe delivering it some way like we’re talking right now perhaps.
But what are the expectations of them? And that then, you’d be aligned with the organizational ones. We want to fundamentally help people develop a willingness to want to be there. That’s critical. And whatever we do, we have to make sure people are thinking about and know that it will be expected of them to do something with this when they get back. I spent the last two days with a group of leaders in California and one of the things I asked them on the first day is, or I told them on the first day is, “Listen. The most important question you can ask yourself throughout this program is, now what? What am I going to go back and do?”
If we don’t have people thinking about that and knowing it’s expected of them to do that when they get back, see, here is what we’re really talking about. We’re talking about the fact that leaders are doing some stuff now. We want them to do some different stuff and so we’re talking about creating habit change. And I don’t think we often stop and think about the fact that whatever kind of leadership development we’re doing is fundamentally about habit change.
And now unless you’re … have a whole lot different experience than me, changing a habit is hard. If you think about leaders, anything we’re going to do as wanting for them to develop is about changing a habit. There’s a way they do it now, we’re encouraging them to pull a different tool out of a toolkit and apply it instead of what they have done before. It’s not just learning the new tool, it’s knowing when to use it, being willing to use it, believing they can use it, that it will work in their context and then actually doing it. We got to help Crete habit change.
So we got to set leaders up to know that this is the expectation. This is what this is all going to be. This isn’t going to just be flavor of the month. This isn’t just going to be the thing, the next new thing, okay? The more we can get people ready for that and understand that, the better chance we have of success. So now, you’re all really dying for the center circle, so there it is. Now, I’ll actually give you words inside of that circle, right?
So I’m going to start in the middle where it says, principles. I believe that whenever build whatever you buy around leadership, development should be based on solid principles. And I know that there are a lot of people that are saying that the world is changing and so people are changing and they want different things and all those things. And certainly, the context of our work is changing with things like this and things like other technologies and people working remotely and all of those other things.
And yet, the principles of leadership development, the principles of team dynamics, the principles of human learning haven’t fundamentally changed. The context may have changed but we’ve got to stay bedrock solid on principles. Whatever you build, whatever you buy needs to be connected to that I believe. We need to be making sure that we’re creating real learning which means more than just death by PowerPoint.
We’re going to be creating stuff that encourages people to actually be using it, the bottom number on this list. You may have heard of the 70:20:10 model. And if you haven’t, here it is in a nutshell that we tend to learn 70% of our job on the job, 20% from other people and 10% from training or workshops, et cetera. So what am I saying? I’m saying this can’t be about what’s the workshop look like? Does the workshop need to be exceptional? Yeah. Do we need to use great materials? of course. Do we need to have … Yes, yes, yes, yes. It’s not enough.
So now, as you go back to the top of this list, you see three words in a row, mindset, skillset, habit set. In my work with clients and in my work with individual leaders, I’m becoming more convinced that these three things are where we need to be going. Mindset, skillset, habit set. I see someone saying the audio is going in and out. I’ll try to be careful to stay closer just in case it’s just literally me, where I’m at so I’ll try to do better there.
Mindset. What do I believe about leading? What do I believe about my ability to lead? What is my level of confidence with this particular skill, et cetera, et cetera? Without the right mindset, we can’t lead successfully. Without the right mindset, we won’t even develop does skillset, okay? Skillset, most leadership training ends up being about skillset. Now, I’ve already talked to you about the importance of habit set, right?
That’s important for sure. Mindset, skillset, habit set. I think if you take those three ideas and keep them in mind in whatever you’re designing, whatever you’re buying, whatever you’re building, if you’ll keep those things in mind, you’ll have greater success. Notice the other two things … three things I haven’t mentioned yet. One is it’s got … we got to think about this as a long term.
You don’t learn to play the piano in one workshop. You learn to play the piano by having some learning experiences by practicing in real life, by getting some coaching and that’s the way … and listen. No one would expect us to learn the piano the other way. And yet, leadership is far more complex than playing the piano and yet we expect it to happen some other way. We’ve got to make sure that whatever we’re doing is completely integrated into the work.
That’s why that organizational component stuff is so important so we have the right context, we have the right understanding. So when people are in a learning experience, it makes sense and they can see how this is going to work in their work. Super important, okay? I’m going to take a breath and before I go on, Sara, is there anything that’s come up specifically that you think now is the time for me to address or that you want to share?
Sara: Yeah. I can see there are some questions. There’s a lot around turnover in your opening when you’re asking about leadership. And there is a really specific question in here from Riley, but I think it’s a good one. I think it’s a good moment to address this. But the question here is when turnover is incredibly high under one leader, when do you terminate versus continuously engaging them to improve their performance?
Kevin E.: Well, that is incredibly situational, and I think it’s the right question. And the right answer will depend on a whole bunch of factors that I don’t have enough information to give you a solid answer except that that’s the right question. And if you’ve identified that that’s where we continue to have turnover, you’re right, it’s that person’s skills that are part of it. So what I would say is if you’re going to try to help develop them, you need to be thinking about it in a very targeted way.
Chances are as people are leaving, you’re getting some exit interviewing, you have some data, you have some things that are maybe the key reasons people are leaving. So then, I would probably … If the decision is or when the decision is that we want to try to help this person in the moment, right? We want to do triage here, then I would say, “I want to know what those folks that work for them, including those that are leaving are seeing as the biggest gaps.”
So whether that’s through exit interviews, whether it’s through focus groups, whatever that is, and then probably, I’m thinking about a coaching process, right, with someone internal or external or whatever, a coaching process to help target working on those very specific skills. But guess what, that person has to have, if we went back to the personal component, they need to understand the expectations, they need to have a willingness, they need to have a personal commitment to this.
If you don’t sense that they have that stuff, that’s when I’m saying, “Probably, this isn’t the right fit.” But if you get the sense that they have those things or you’ve ascertained that they do, then it’s probably not send them to another piece of training, it’s probably much more targeted and it’s probably much more about something that looks like coaching and mentoring to help them work on very specific skills. That’s what I would say about that, Sara.
I want to go back to the overall turnover thing for a second because again, two sides. If the turnover is of the leaders, if we do a better job of the things we’re talking about today, they are less likely to leave because that’s one of the things they’re probably looking for, is a chance to continue to grow as a leader. But if it is turnover of staff reporting to the leaders and we need to get that solved, right, because the expense that goes with that is astronomical.
It’s the wrong webinar for us to talk about that, but man, if you start doing the math at what it costs, and not just in terms of the onboarding of the new people, but also of the experience lost and the opportunity cost and the recruiting cost and the productivity, the timeline that it takes for that person to get up … the new person to get up to a level of success. I’m telling you, it is expensive and so we need to solve those problems as quickly as we can, okay?
Anything else, Sara, before we go on?
Sara: No. We’ve got some other questions in here but I think you might be covering some of this, so let’s continue and if not, we’re going to jump to those at the end.
Kevin E.: All right. I’m going to trust that you got that under control. So here we go. So first of all, some big ideas. I promised you 12 specific things and they’re coming, but I want to give you four big … I think it’s four big ideas here first. First of all, this should be hopefully what you’re seeing here is that we’re not just finding a thing to do, this needs to be holistic and not piecemeal, right? So Sara is going to talk to you about a product that I know well and that I think you find … we find very helpful.
But if that’s … You’re just going to go do that, that’s not likely to be successful. As a part of something bigger, as a part of a system and a strategy, could be very well what you need to do, okay? Think about what you’re doing from a systems and strategy perspective. Think about it holistically. Think about having a plan. Think about it as an investment and you’ll do these two bullets.
And the next one is make sure that you have a learning focus to whatever you’re doing so that real learning is happening and when we’re talking about leadership development, we’re not talking about knowledge, we’re talking about skill, we’re talking about application. So how do we help people get to the place using their learning? The other big idea I want to share with you is that idea of mindset, skillset, habit set and we’re spending a lot of time with clients, helping them think about that and helping them think through how they … what they build will have … will be addressing all of those things for individual leaders along the way, mindset, skillset, habit set.
So now, as promised, 12 specific things. And I got three slides. I got three slides. So there are four on each of the slides, and they’re in numerical order. In part, they’re sort of a priority order or timeline order, not perfectly such but a little bit so. First of all, probably want to start sooner. What do I mean by start sooner? I’m a big proponent of getting new leaders and someone said that earlier. I got a bunch of brand new people managers.
Man, if we don’t get people early in their time as a leader, what’s going to happen is they’re going to develop habits from the first day and in a vacuum, the habits they develop might not be very successful and the longer they do them without correction or encouragement or any sort of feedback and coaching or any other input, the harder it will be for those to change. So we need to start sooner in terms of where we start with this process of developing our leaders.
Another specific thing I would suggest is that you have develop leadership involvement. And again, we talked about this at a couple of levels, senior level as well as the leader of the leaders. We need to develop that leadership development. If you’ve already got it, then you need to leverage it better, right? Remember the value of that piece. Again, both top deck and the leader of the leaders.
Next, you need to define your organizational purpose and context for doing leadership development. It should be seen as a part of the overall strategy and we should know how the leadership development stuff fits with what we’re trying to do as an organization, right? And then as I’ve already said, I’ll say it again, we need to think investment. Now, these four things are big frontend things. That’s all true. And you’re saying, “But Kevin, you haven’t said anything about what I should do to build the training yet.”
Well, you’re right because that’s not what you should think about first, right? Everything that you do needs to connect to the organizational side. It’s that organizational component that we talked about, okay? Next, number five, make the build/buy/blend decision. So what do I mean by that? What I mean is are we going to build everything? Are we going to buy everything or are we going to have some combination of those things, right?
And what I’m suggesting is, and I’m going to say it later, that I believe that in almost every case, the right answer is some sort of blend and I’m going to suggest that there are tremendous resources from HRDQ as just one example, from us as a second example where you can bring someone else’s materials in to help you or you can bring some processes in to help you. But if you just bring them in, lock, stock and barrel and drop them in by themselves, you’re heading toward flavor of the month, and that’s not what you want.
You want to make a conscious decision about how we’re going to invest our dollars and our time and our resources related to this. So make the build/buy/blend decision. Next, create understanding and readiness. Now, we can start talking to the learners about what this is going to look like and what’s going to be expected of them and helping them build some anticipation for what they’re going to get, right?
Now, all the way down to number seven, we can actually talk about the learning experiences themselves, right, whatever those are. Whether those are online, whether those are e-learning, whether those are face to face, whatever they are, make sure that they’re focused on principles and most of all, that they’re focused on application.
It’s interesting, Sara and I were talking before we started the webinar and she said that they’re working on a bunch of their top products to make sure that they’re up to date. What I bet that they’re going to find is because their stuff is based on principles, yeah, they’ll do some polishing but they’re not going to make wholesale changes because it’s already based on solid research, on principles network and so make sure that what you build does that.
Here’s why that’s important. Not only will it be the most successful but it’s also the best investment because why? Because it’s not going to go out of style. It’s not flavor of the month. Number eight is multiple methods integrated learning. If we’re really serious about it being learning, then it’s not just about a workshop as good as that workshop might be. It’s not enough.
Training is an event, learning is a process, leadership development is something we’re doing over the long haul, it’s got to be integrated into the work, there’s got to be expectations, there’s got to be practice, there’s got to be all those things. And in the session alone, that’s not enough. Maybe you get skillset, but you don’t get … And maybe if it’s really well-designed, you get some mindset but you’re not going to get habit set in an event, okay?
Number nine. Create accountability for all. Certainly, we want our leaders to be those in the program, in the learning experiences to have that accountability for applying what they’re learning, but there’s accountability of those peoples’ leaders too, right, to do what they can to support people, to hold them accountable and help them be accountable. Those leaders of leaders, those supervisors of those attendees need to be accountable as well, and most of us don’t do that well enough.
And speaking of coaching, I’m a firm believer that if we want to improve skills as complex as leadership skills, that we need to include coaching and mentoring in whatever we build. There’s a bunch of ways that you can do this. It might be pure coaching, it may look more like pure mentoring, it may be some combination, may be internal coaches, external coaches, include coaching in what you’re doing. Number 11, make sure that you’re expecting habit change. Ultimately, that’s what we’re after. And lastly, we got to be tracking people’s progress. Have ways to measure and have metrics around what we’re trying to do, okay?
So now, it leaves me to the, perhaps the most important questions of our time together. Here it is. Where are you, right? So I’m going to challenge you to look back at those 12 things and say, where are our gaps? You’re probably doing some of those 12 things pretty well. You may be doing some of those 12 things with great … high levels of excellence, right? So I’m saying look for the gaps and then start where you are.
Maybe you’re saying, “We got nothing.” Maybe you’re saying, “We got a lot of pieces and we need to make sure it’s all cohesive and hoked together.” Start from where you are and work from there. Realize that wherever you are, you are on a journey. You’re taking your leaders on a journey to get better, okay? You need to realize that it’s a journey for them and you need to realize it is a journey for the organization to continue to build this out to support them because at some point, as you build a lot of this, you’re going to get this question, okay, so what’s next?
So there’s always going to be a journey for you as the designers and the owners of the development process and that’s always a journey for the leaders. And then you got to make sure that you’re willing to invest in that journey wherever … again, starting from wherever you are, okay? Starting from wherever you are. So this is important. All right, we go back to where we started. I would say that it’s … You really can’t afford not to do this.
Unless your organization … Unless everything is perfect in your organization, which it isn’t, or you wouldn’t be here, one of the best investments that you can make in your organization is in the success and the skills of your leaders if you do it in the ways we’ve talked about here. Not necessarily if you do it the way we have always done it, but if you do it in the ways we’ve talked about here, you really can’t afford not to do it.
And I believe, and I hinted at this earlier, I don’t think you can do it alone. I think that you need help and I would like to hope that this webinar is one form of help. I would like to hope that you’re going to look to some of the tools and resources HRDQ can provide you as a way to help. But the point is I don’t think you can do it alone. You need external perspectives. You need external help.
I have rarely met the learning and development organization that felt like they could take care of everything as talented as they might be. You can’t do it alone and you can’t, you cannot completely outsource it. Please don’t try to completely outsource it because if you’ve taken anything I’ve said to heart, you know that that one whole piece, the organizational component, you can’t outsource it. You can get help to help you understand some of that, to help you to articulate it. You probably can do all of this alone but you certainly don’t just try to write a check. Even a big one.
Doing that is not going to give you the results that you want either, but I don’t care who you outsource it to. That’s not the right answer. And that’s probably not what you expected me to say, but it’s true. It’s true. We would love to help and I know you’re going to hear about some things that can help you. Man, do not try to outsource it alone because it’s not going to work.
So there’s the magic question cube. Sara? So we’ve got a few minutes. So why don’t you tell me what you’re seeing?
Sara: Yeah. So we’ve got a couple of people who are asking about senior leadership in particular. So these two go together. The first question here is what can you do when the most … when most of the senior leadership is part of the problem? And then another person is asking, how do you address it when the top brass sends out blanket statements and then it never gets down through all the levels and so messaging gets disjointed in there?
So can you speak a little bit about how do you manage that, the senior leadership element?
Kevin E.: Well, let’s take them separate. Neither one are unique to you, the person who asked the question. Let’s take the last one first. The bigger your organization, the bigger that challenge is going to be for sure, right? There’s no question about it. And so it becomes just a matter of really building clear communication strategies. And if you really do have ownership at the highest levels, if you have the top brass, to use those words, really on board, then you probably need to let them know that while they feel like they’re communicating it, the message is being sent, it’s not being received throughout the whole organization.
So there’s probably time spent around the communication plan and how do we … That’s probably worthy of a whole webinar but that’s where I would start there. But the other question is a really interesting one, right? Part of our development problem is our top people. They need to get better and they don’t think they do. Well, you saw my slide earlier where there was that word … those words self-awareness.
We maybe need to help people get a little more self-aware. And one of the questions I see in there somewhere I think without my glasses on was something about a 360 assessment. 360 assessments, you didn’t hear me mention specifically, they can be incredibly valuable as a tracking tool but they can be an incredibly valuable tool on the frontend to build that personal awareness, that personal commitment to say, “Oh, I’m not quite as good or as effective as I thought.”
So a well-done 360 process, meaning, a good assessment of course but with some skilled coaching to help understand what it means and what it doesn’t mean and what to do with it can be very helpful. So if you’ve got leaders at any level, but especially at the highest level, you need to try to get them to become more self-aware and perhaps, again, big questions that we can’t solve completely in the time we have, but a 360 might be a tool that could help in that.
Kevin E.: What else you got Sara? I’m sorry … Sorry.
Sara: That’s okay. We have a lot of questions coming in. So it’s awesome. Great participation. So keep those questions coming right there in your go-to webinar panel. So we have people talking here about measuring and whether that’s an internal rating system for leaders, an internal survey, we’ve got some suggestions around that to track team sentiments as to how leaders are doing and even the bigger picture, how.
How do you measure? How do you see if leadership development is working?
Kevin E.: Well, I think we can certainly measure. There are certain things we can measure that people will take note of which are things like turnover, right? We’ve talked about that a lot. Certainly, if turnover is dropping, and we’ve been doing some investing in this area, that’s probably a factor, right? And it certainly could be one of the factors. We want to be thinking about other things that were already measuring that could help us in this regard.
Like you may be doing employee engagement surveys or all employee surveys of some sort. There are probably some questions on there that give us some clues indirectly, maybe some questions that are directly related to leadership skills where the gaps might be around coaching communication, et cetera, et cetera. And if you do that as an ongoing basis, you could think about including some questions or adding some questions around that if that would be helpful.
So I would always think about, what am I already doing that we can use to help us think about this where you can benchmark start to finish? Certainly, 360 assessments, if they’re used, can be a way to track progress as well, but the idea of getting feedback from the user of the leadership, right, the team, is a really important piece of that puzzle for sure.
Sara: Patricia here actually brings up, we’ve talked a lot about turnover and she brings up sort of the opposite challenge in her organization. Suppose your organization does not have turnover, so you have people leaders that have been with the organization a long, long time?
Kevin E.: Well, it’s like a lot of things. So all of the people that have turnover saying, “Man, I’d rather I trade you”, so … And yet, I hear Patricia, what you’re asking. And what I think I’m hearing inside of that is they’ve been here a long time so we have some complacency, right? And maybe externally, we would say they could get better. They could build their skills, right? They’re thinking, well, you need leadership development for other people but not for me. So we’re back to how do we help people get a better mirror in front of them about how they’re doing.
If we can help people get very excited about the organization’s direction and the organization’s [inaudible 00:55:46], that can create new and renewed meaning for us about what do we need to do to get better. If the organization is changing and now, the organization needs something new from me, so my point is, it’s really now, we’re thinking about the change process and helping those individuals that might have been there a long time.
And again, there are great advantages to that but Patricia, I hear what you’re saying. There’s some disadvantages and I’m guessing that one of those might be complacency, okay?
Sara: Yeah. And another question is coming in on your thoughts around what do you think about a one on one meeting between leader and staff? So an intact team with their leader meeting around those.
Kevin E.: I think there’s … it depends on a number of factors including what’s the level of trust amongst those people. When I think of that, what I think of most frequently is that there’s a facilitator, perhaps someone that’s in this … on this call, is facilitating those or perhaps what’s happening is that the group has a conversation in more like a focus group kind of thing with a facilitator and gathers a bunch of feedback and then perhaps, we bring the leader in with a summary of that to then talk about it and say what we do to get better.
That can be a very effective process. I would say in most cases, you want a third party there to help facilitate the flow and keep it from getting off-track and keeping us from some landmines perhaps. That’s probably the last one. We probably need to move on, huh?
Kevin E.: So I just have a couple more slides, one that says, now what? My question is, what are you going to go do, right? Because this is too important to not do something. There’s a huge cost to poor leadership. I know you have frustration and stress, so there’s a lot of engagement here. I kept seeing the questions fly by here. That’s really here. Hopefully, this was helpful to you. You got lost productivity, you’ve got reduced results in what you want and so that’s where you are.
So you got some new ideas today hopefully. Hopefully, you think you need … You may know you need some help. I’ll tell you how you can get ahold of us and some help that you will get from Sara as well. You may not know your exact next steps so use this to start an organizational conversation. And I think Sara will tell you how you can let other people watch this. So if this was helpful and you want to use this to help start an organizational conversation, I’d encourage you to do that.
Use the resources that you already have around you, including HRDQ and us. And if you want to get ahold of us, it’s very easy. Just go firstname.lastname@example.org and you can get ahold of us. And I’ve got two things for you real quick. We have a webinar that we do in a recurring basis that’s specifically about developing your new supervisors. So I know that that was a question that came up. So if that’s something you’d like to know more about, send an email to email@example.com and we’ll get you info about that.
We do it on a recurring basis. Make sure that you get access to that. We have another thing coming up in the future and again, we do it on a recurring basis, that really gets that leadership development around mindset, skillset habit set and you can get on the list to learn more about that. When the time comes, I go into kevineikenberry.com/way.
And with that, I’m going to go to the last slide, Sara, which I believe is all you.
Sara: Yes. Thank you so much Kevin, and thank you everybody for participating today. We’ve had some really great questions. We have a lot of people who are asking about Kevin’s product. So for those that aren’t familiar with it, it is the Remarkable Leadership Program and it’s his 12th modular program that goes into those specific areas that Kevin shared today. So you can then target those directly into your organization when you think about the next steps that you’re going to. You can pick and choose out of those 12.
There’s a really thorough facilitator set that helps you deliver internally and there is then the practical application that you can use through the workbook. So you can pick through those 12 modules, there’s a workbook per module that works really well. And if you are interested in having help delivering the training, definitely reach out. We provide train the trainer, we provide onsite or virtual delivery as well as consulting services.
So HRDQ and Kevin and his group are here to definitely help you with all of your leadership needs.
Kevin E.: Sara, thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure to have you. And as I said, I’ve been looking at some of these questions. If you’ve got other things that you wanted to know, anybody, you can drop me a note, firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get to meet and I’ll be happy to help any way I can.
Sara: Absolutely. And we’ll stay on the line here for couple of seconds so you can type in your questions and we’ll definitely get those back out to you. And we look forward to seeing you on our next webinar. Thanks Kevin.
Kevin E.: Thanks everybody.