Leadership, Resources, Vision

3 Easy Tips for Leveraging Leadership Learning

Every organization is trying to stretch dollars, and with the pressure to keep “overhead” rates as low as possible (don’t get me started), finding ways to get more value from every investment in your people is both strategically and politically important. As a funder who supports leadership development, I’ve noticed a few simple ways that training can be extended with a little effort and nearly no cost. 1. Book it. There are an endless supply of new leadership books being released all the time, and no one can keep up. In fact, the large majority of the books don’t have anything particularly new to say. At best you can glean a couple applicable ideas and some new angles on the basics we all know we should be doing. Instead of adding to your already towering stack of unread best sellers, go back and re-read the three most useful books you’ve already got. I try to keep a couple increasingly worn favourites on a preferred and accessible shelf near my desk. 2. Story Time. One of the greatest needs in almost every organization is to keep the entire team aligned with the vision and values at the heart of all that they do. It is so easy to lose track of the big idea in the midst of the day to day tasks and occasional crises. Leaders hesitate to overdo repeating the message for fear of annoying people. Stories of impact are gathered and circulated for donors, and the assumption is that our people know what we’re about. At the beginning of every regular meeting take just a few minutes to share one specific story of the impact your organization, or better yet, have different people share how the organization is impacting their own lives. This is even more impactful with office staff who rarely get into the field. 3. Do Lunch. You are sending your people to all kinds of courses, sessions, conferences, and events with the expectation that they’ll learn something relevant. Too often whatever knowledge they gain never gets beyond their own use. Make it a solid expectation that everyone who receives training will, at least informally, present the key content of the experience and how it can be applied here to the rest of their team. Start scheduling lunch and learn sessions at least monthly. Even optional brown bag sessions will begin to gain traction and people will process their learning more deeply. What have you been doing that has helped get more impact out of your leadership investments?