Creating a Culture of Leadership Development: Best Practices and Case Studies
The culture of an organization influences every facet of how it functions and how work is completed. Many firms prioritize ensuring their culture is future-ready in their pursuit of sustainable performance. According to recent survey results, culture reform is high on the list of HR priorities.
Leadership development is a deliberate attempt to improve the learner’s ability to lead others. A successful firm must have a culture that is founded on deeply held and broadly shared beliefs that are backed by strategy and structure. When a business has a strong culture, the following things happen:
- Employees understand how top management expects them to react in each situation.
- Employees believe the expected reaction is correct, and
- Employees understand that they will be rewarded for demonstrating the principles of the firm.
Employers play an important role in sustaining a strong culture, beginning with recruiting and selecting applicants who share the organization’s beliefs and thrive in that culture, developing orientation, training, and performance management programs that outline and reinforce the organization’s core values, and ensuring that appropriate rewards and recognition are given to employees who truly embody the values.
Transform Your Managers Into Leaders
Managers have a significant impact on employee performance, and, thus, the performance of the organization. In fact, Gallup discovered that the quality of a team’s manager accounts for 70% of the variation in engagement. However, not all managers have strong, inherent leadership abilities or have received training to improve them.
When you examine the impact of managers on workforce performance, it makes sense to overinvest in their development – even more so when you consider that managers provide a pool of potential executive talent by virtue of already being in a leadership position.
According to research on hundreds of job roles and competencies, high-performing managers typically exhibit the following leadership skills:
- The ability to form relationships and trust in order to share ideas and get things done.
- The ability to develop others through setting clear standards, encouraging others, and guiding them
- Capability to drive change by creating goals and changing work to meet those goals
- Ability to inspire and motivate others via vision, confidence, positivism, and recognition
- Problem-solving abilities and critical-thinking skills
- Communication abilities that are effective, efficient, and open
- The ability to hold both others and oneself accountable for performance.
Create Culture, Not Leaders
Most churches lack leadership because they have not invested in developing a growth culture. People do not appear in the leadership pipeline by chance; it takes planning. It is becoming increasingly clear that the most important role of a senior leader is to shape the organization’s culture.
When your team understands your targeted outcomes and values, you can provide leaders the confidence to make decisions knowing that everyone is heading in the correct (and the same) path.
When your leaders see that you are emotionally invested in them, your leadership development will have a stronger impact.
Ask how you may pray for them, take your team out to lunch, learn about their family and interests, and encourage them. These people are critical to the success of a ministry, and it is critical to indicate how much they are appreciated.
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