C-Suite Agenda

The 3-Part Process of Leadership Basic Training

In The 11 Essential Needs of Employees, we noted the top reasons for job dissatisfaction. One of those reasons is that employees are unhappy with management and the way they manage.

This is why the first rung on the Leadership Ladder is “Leadership is a Priority.”

Good leadership doesn’t just happen by appointment.

Granted, there are those who are “natural leaders” to some degree; it is their inclination to take charge. But that doesn’t mean all natural leaders are good leaders. The fact is, some “natural leaders” can be really “bad bosses” if their natural talents are not trained in the right direction.

When an unprepared leader is assigned to a leadership position, it can result in disastrous consequences, leaving unhappy employees in the wake. Unaddressed, it can negatively impact the company’s bottom line.

As a leader of leaders, your main focus must be on training your leaders to be good and effective leaders.

How do you do this?

Here is the 3-Part Process of Leadership Basic Training.

  1. Un-train

First, you un-train.

As an Air Force veteran, I can tell you that the first few days in basic training are not intended to be pleasant. They are intended to “un-train.”

We recruits came from diverse backgrounds, each with our own ideas as to how things should be done.

We each brought habits – some good ones, and many bad ones. The first few days were all about tearing down those bad habits – and even some of the good ones – to make room for better habits.

Some of us had attitudes. Those were untrained as well…and pretty quickly, I might add.

  1. Train

The bad habits and attitudes were replaced with rigorous training for better habits and attitudes. This wasn’t just a matter of positive thinking. It required action…painful, arduous, push-to-the-limits action.

Creating strong leadership habits and attitudes also required repetition. It meant daily practice until the process of what to do was drilled into us so we could carry it out quickly, strategically, and with confidence.

The results of this un-training and training process transformed us from cocky young teenagers to a strong, confident team.

  1. Serve

The problem with leadership in typical organizations is that there is no basic training for it. It is simply assumed that a person who is good at his or her job should be able to lead those who do that kind of work, or that someone who is tested and falls within a certain range on an assessment automatically qualifies for a leadership position.

You have an employee who excels in IT, for example, so you make him or her the IT manager. But soon you notice projects are falling behind, and you hear murmurings of discontent among his or her direct reports.

“He used to be our friend. Now he thinks he’s better than us.”

“She did a good job in IT, but as a manager, she’s out of her league.”

Why is it that this stellar employee now fails as a manager?

It often comes down to one issue: They were trained to do a job, but never trained to be a leader.

For them to transition well from being an employee to being a manager, they need to be un-trained on some practices and trained on some new ones.

Before a leader can serve well, they must be un-trained and trained well.

Your organization is all about people – the people who lead, the people they lead, and the clients and customers they collectively serve.

If your leadership team is functioning well at all levels, your clients and customers will be served well.

Are you, as the leader of those leaders, equipping them with the tools and resources they need to do  their jobs well?

Leadership Training Resources

Leadership training can take the form of books (at a basic level), workshops, retreats, extended leadership programs, or executive coaching, depending on the needs of the organization and individuals.

Where specific issues need to be addressed, executive coaching can help a leader push through personal or professional obstacles that may be holding them back, or get specific help in dealing with a situation. Executive coaching is also good for strategic planning and accountability, while also offering a confidential sounding board for ideas and issues.

Where teamwork is a component of the leadership training, we encourage group platforms such as workshops and retreats.

Where extensive training for leaders and teams is needed, an extended leadership program will give you and your team time to learn new principles, apply them in the workplace, and then review and refine for best results.

Living to Lead offers all of these, plus an innovative new option where you as a leader can lead your team through a 16-week leadership training program. We provide the tools you can take to your team for learning and application. With this option, you are learning and developing your leadership skills right along with your team. This gives you a chance to get to know your team and generate real solutions and ideas for your business.

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Dave Ferguson
Internationally respected and highly experienced executive leadership coach, speaker and author. Check Dave out at LivingToLead.com. Dave is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.