Think about the company you most admire, then consider what their leadership does, says, and creates. Maybe Zappos is your go-to company, or Apple. Both have innovation strongholds, and reputations for leading in the marketplace. That’s one form of leadership.

Maybe Disney popped in your mind, as they are famous for their service levels, for their innovation, and for how they develop their people. This is another form of leadership. And, It’s the people development that drives the creativity in the professional service sector.

Leadership skills aren’t innate, although they can certainly come easier to some folks than others. So can knitting. Some people pick it up quickly, some people don’t. Everyone can do it, if they commit to it. Have you committed to developing your leadership skills? What about those of your people?
Are you there? Are you finally at the point where you recognize that a leadership development program is vital to the future of your organization?

Consider these steps to launch your leadership program:

  1.  HAVE A CLEAR MISSION. What are your values, and what direction are you headed? What inspiration are you offering for your future leaders? What are the goals for the business?
  2. CREATE A PATH TO PARTICIPATION. Many organizations put together a leadership development program for everyone, or for those who are hand selected. How about create an inventory/application process that asks questions that will help you know where the candidate fits in the future leadership of your organization. Not too lengthy, but substantial enough to measure commitment and desire.
  3. MIX IT UP. Use this process as a path to distinguishing different skill sets, experience levels, and areas of your organization. Consider having mentorship inside your program such that participants are matched with others to discuss learning, application, and maintaining accountability.
  4. STUDY IT. Create a number of case studies from real life happenings in your organization. This allows the application of skills to be very practical, and you can discuss the actual outcomes, in addition to potential other outcomes based on applied learning.
  5. GO BEYOND. Leadership happens in a number of different industries. When designing the curriculum include reading from a variety of industries, which discussion about application back to your business.

What has stopped you from putting a program together? Most folks tell me they don’t have time. It’s a commitment to launch a program that will be successful. Unfortunately, if you don’t have time now, will you have a business later? Leaders develop over years of practice, so the time is now.

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