Develop Your Leadership Skills While You Advance the Mission of Your Church – 4 Tips for Experiential Learning

Want to learn what it takes to lead and develop a team? Or steer change? Persuade your peers? Manage a problem employee?

“Then do it,” says CCL’s Cindy McCauley. “You will broaden and deepen your leadership capabilities as you do leadership work.”

Learning from experience is the No. 1 way that leader development happens, according to McCauley.

McCauley is a senior fellow with the Center for Creative Leadership. Much of her work focuses on learning: boosting our ability to learn, identifying what is important to learn, and what experiences teach which lessons. She is coeditor of the new book, Experience-Driven Leader Development: Models, Tools, Best Practices, and Advice for On-the-Job Development (Wiley, 2013).

Research in the field of leadership development supports the value of experience-driven leadership. Most executives cite on-the-job experiences as the key events that shaped them as leaders and taught them important skills, behaviors or mindsets. And the formula 70-20-10 is well-known in HR circles: 70 percent of development happens on the job, 20 percent from relationships, and 10 percent in formal or classroom training.

Even so, most of us aren’t given the information or tools to help us maximize or seek out learning opportunities. On-the-job learning is often hit-or-miss. If you want to boost your development, there are many experience-based strategies you can take. According to McCauley, one of the best things you can do is to embrace the idea of development in place.

Development in place is defined as “adding challenges to current work and non-work pursuits in ways that broaden your portfolio of leadership experiences.” While promotions and big job changes are powerful opportunities for learning and growth, you don’t want to wait around for those moments, says McCauley.

You can learn important, new skills by doing work that gives you practice. For example, you can learn to handle external pressure by taking calls on a customer hotline; gain experience handling high-stakes work by doing a tight-deadline assignment for your boss; or tackle unfamiliar challenges by asking your boss to delegate one of his or her responsibilities to you. Together, these experiences help prepare you for future roles or jobs.

So, how do you do it?

>> First, identify the kinds of experiences you need to add to your leadership portfolio. Consider these 10 leadership challenges — which experiences would be new or a chance to stretch in ways you haven’t in a while?

  1. Unfamiliar Responsibilities: Handling responsibilities that are new or very different from previous ones you’ve handled.
  2. New Directions: Starting something new or making strategic changes.
  3. Inherited Problems: Fixing problems created by someone else or existing before you took the assignment.
  4. Problems with Employees: Dealing with employees who lack adequate experience, are not highly competent or are resistant to change.
  5. High Stakes: Managing work with tight deadlines, pressure from above, high visibility and responsibility for critical decisions.
  6. Scope and Scale: Managing work that is broad in scope (involving multiple functions, groups, locations, products or services) or large in sheer size (for example, workload, number of responsibilities).
  7. External Pressure: Managing the interface with important groups outside the organization, such as customers, vendors, partners, unions and regulatory agencies.
  8. Influencing without Authority: Influencing peers, higher management or other key people over whom you have no authority.
  9. Work across Cultures: Working with people from different cultures or with institutions in other countries.
  10. Work Group Diversity: Being responsible for the work of people of both genders and different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

>> Second, think of ways you can add an important challenge while continuing in your current job.Pick two or three challenges you are seeking and start generating specific ideas about how to pursue them. Could you:

  • Reshape your job? Add new responsibilities to your job on a more or less permanent basis. These could be responsibilities moved from your boss to you (or exchanged among peers). Or they may be responsibilities that no one currently owns in your group or organization.
  • Take on a temporary assignment? Seek out tasks or responsibilities that are bounded by time: projects, task forces, one-time events or assignments that can be rotated among team members.
  • Seek challenges outside the workplace? Take on leadership responsibilities in community, nonprofit, religious, social or professional organizations.

>> Third, focus and create a plan. Narrow your options and pick one developmental assignment to undertake. Talk to your boss and other stakeholders: What’s practical? What’s doable? What would be most beneficial to your organization? What would be most motivating to you?

Then, so you are sure you learn what you set out to learn, make a plan. Map out:

  • The ways in which the assignment can help you grow as a leader.
  • The skills, behaviors and actions you’ll need to practice.
  • Support mechanisms — what will you need and who can provide it.
  • Strategies that will help you focus on learning from the assignment (for example, keeping a journal or checking in with an accountability partner).

>> Finally, don’t give up. Learning to lead isn’t easy. Being competent and comfortable in new situations and using new skills takes time. But experience-driven learning pays off. You’ll benefit from interesting experiences in the short-term and build a portfolio of skills that will make you a more effective leader in the future.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Not Just a Leader: An Effective, Strategic Leader

A strategic challenge is a leadership challenge — and one that top-level managers and executives can’t ignore.

Studies suggest that the ability to lead strategically is essential for success in senior roles, and in a way that is different from other management levels – CCL’s Stephanie Trovas.

Consider two findings from Management Research Group (MRG). In one study, 94 percent of senior executives indicated strategic leadership was the most critical behavior for their organization’s success. A second study found that effective senior executives scored an average of 15 percentage points higher in “strategic thinking” than effective managers.

So what does it take to be an effective strategic leader? How do vice presidents and directors and CEOs learn strategic leadership skills? In CCL’s Leading Strategically program, we break it down into 11 skills in five key areas that participants learn, practice and apply to their personal strategic leadership challenge.

Strategic Learning. Senior leaders must have a firm grasp of the business. This is the “nuts and bolts” of strategy that are commonly taught and talked about. Specifically, leaders must:

  • Have a business perspective: Understand the perspectives of different functional areas in the organization and the external conditions that affect the organization.
  • Be strategic planners: Develop long-term objectives and strategies; translate vision into realistic business strategies.
  • Master organizational decision-making: Make timely decisions; readily understand complex issues; develop solutions that effectively address problems.

Leverage Polarities. Senior leaders constantly wrestle with the strategic and practical implications of priorities that appear to be in conflict. They debate the merits of global vs. regional, rewarding the team vs. rewarding individuals, centralized vs. decentralized. To be successful in today’s environment, leaders must leverage the value of each, rather than viewing them as “either/or.” This requires the ability to:

  • Manage conflicting perspectives: Recognize that every decision has conflicting interests and constituencies; balance short-term pay-offs with long-term improvement.
  • Act systemically: Understand the political nature of the organization and work within it; establish relationships and alliances throughout the organization.

Spanning Boundaries. Leaders of functions and divisions have the essential role of creating Direction, Alignment and Commitment (DAC) across boundaries. They must learn to work across vertical, horizontal, stakeholder, demographic and geographic boundaries — and support other groups and managers to do the same. Boundary spanning requires leaders who are able to:

  • Influence across the organization: Inspire; promote a vision; persuade and motivate others; influence superiors; delegate effectively.
  • Build collaborative relationships: Build productive working relationships with coworkers and external parties.

Leading Change. Senior leaders are responsible for managing change, but also for understanding and leading their organization through the cognitive and emotional dimensions of change. They need to:

  • Promote organizational transition: Support strategies that facilitate organizational change initiatives and position the business for the future.
  • Adapt to new conditions: Show agility within changing business conditions and openness to new ideas and new methods.

Shaping Culture. Organizational culture affects strategy. Senior leaders must work within current culture and, at the same time, influence culture change for greater performance potential. Leaders will need to:

  • Initiate organizational innovation: Seize new opportunities and consistently generate new ideas; introduce and create needed change even in the face of opposition.
  • Demonstrate vision: Understand, communicate and stay focused on the organization’s vision.

“There’s a lot out there about strategy and how to be a strategic leader,” Trovas notes. “But frankly, senior leaders and executives don’t get a lot of opportunities to learn new strategic leadership skills, practice them, and work with a coach and peers to apply them.

Read more from the Center for Creative Leadership here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

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Tere Jackson — 09/06/13 10:06 pm

I can say Houston Methodist West Hospital has one one the greatest leaders! Wayne Voss is a role model in our organization and he has the time to apply everything we are thought! He is the ICARE values, the heart of Houston Methodist Hospital System. I am so blessed to be part of this amazing organization!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Changing Culture in Your Church, Part 2: 4 Phases, Not 4 Steps

Executives, leadership teams and entire organizations need more mature minds to deal with the increased complexity, uncertainty and inter-connectedness of our world.

CCL’s approach to changing culture is focused on growing bigger minds and fostering the thinking that allows for creative action in the face of complexity. Based on five principles, we use four broad, overlapping, reinforcing phases:

Discovery learningdetermining willingness. What is the feasibility of entering the culture-change process? This is a mutual learning phase between CCL (as facilitators) and the client (as change agents and organizational leadership). It begins with an assessment of the current level of leadership culture and a look at the capability required by the business strategy.

Players’ Readinessdeveloping understanding. What are the long-term implications of integrating a new culture into the organization’s work? What is senior leadership’s ability to engage in the change process? It requires a commitment to participate in public learning — practices that many conservative institutions will decline.

Game Board Planningframing the change process. What does culture change look like? How does interdependent leadership play out in business and leadership strategies, the learning process and organizational work targets? What are the beliefs and behaviors required? As senior leaders’ understanding of the change process grows, they are better able to frame the change challenge and engage other leaders.

Playing the Gamebuilding capability. Once senior leadership has internalized the change work and discerned the way forward, they begin to move the new culture forward into the broader the organization. The same beliefs and practices that moved the leadership culture at the top are taught, practiced and required elsewhere in the organization.

The four phases are not a list of simple steps to take, cautions CCL’s John McGuire.

Many of the traditional serial, step-by-step change management methodologies regard human beings as things to be managed. But we’re not things. We’re complex beings with minds and imaginations and beliefs. We have to engage and participate in order to learn and change.

“We know this work is not for everyone,” McGuire continues. “But if senior leadership is fully engaged, they become adept at their own collaborative learning. Then the senior team is able to immerse larger numbers of leaders from across the organization and develops toward a critical mass for enterprise-wide change. Our goal is to eventually involve everyone in the organization in a learning process that creates trust, ownership and increasing forms of interdependence.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

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RON M WEEKS — 05/17/13 9:04 am

If we own these things called parishioners, do we also care about paying their bills and keeping them fed and alive. Old church models do not work any more then modern leadership roles. The balance comes from making the people who are seeking want to be part of all the elements of faith. Trust and respect of who they are and where they are being offered support of scripture, by discussion not told what to think, empowers a new style where everyone is able to enjoy God's love and the joy of the Holy Ghost.

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Changing Culture in Your Church, Part 1: 5 Principles for Interdependent Leadership

What does it take for an organization to set and execute strategy in a complex and interdependent world? Collaborative work across boundaries is increasingly seen as a requirement — but collaboration in most organizations is not a natural act. A shift in thinking, alongside a change in behaviors, is usually needed for genuinely collaborative work. But history and experience suggest that accepted change management techniques are not up to the task of transforming the way we work.What’s needed is a culture change process that combines leadership strategy with the organization’s strategy. Here’s an approach based on five principles.

Principle #1: Culture change is a guided, public-learning process. People cannot simply be “managed” into change. Culture change requires guides who become trusted partners, help steer change and engage in a learning process.Public learning includes truth-telling, revealing mistakes, admission of not having all the answers, and of sharing confusion and even uncomfortable emotions. This is an inside-out experience of our imagination, emotions and human spirit. Executive team members must confront the risks they take and the vulnerability they feel in change that triggers fear, uncertainty and anxiety. But with proper guidance, they can discover that change also holds innovation, creativity and joy.

Principle #2: Executives leaders do the change work first. Executives must lead by engagement and example in the transformation process. Senior leaders must own and model the new behaviors before immersing larger numbers of key leaders in the change process. Developing senior leadership’s capability to deal with increasing complexity is core work — not a sideline activity.

Principle #3: Develop vertical capability. Dealing with the increased complexity across organizational boundaries requires more mature minds, developing from dependent to independent to interdependent leadership cultures. We call this the vertical framework for changing leadership culture. This allows people to grow increasingly capable of sophistication in the face of complexity.

Principle #4: Leadership culture changes by advancing beliefs and practices simultaneously. Best beliefs drive best practices drive best beliefs — like an infinity loop, beliefs and practices are mutual and interdependent. Advancing to a next stage in leadership culture requires developing a self-reinforcing web of beliefs and practices — and our work develops both beliefs and practices in parallel.

Principle #5: Sustainable culture change is a learn-as-you-go process embedded in the work of the organization. Leaders need to learn new beliefs by inventing and testing new practices — new ways of working together. Learning is a core practice and culture work is equally important as the work in technical systems and processes. Culture development is the work and not a separate “training exercise.”

Based on these five principles, we’ve seen executives, leadership teams and entire organizations “grow bigger minds” — and create an organizational culture capable of learning, changing and succeeding in uncertain, complex times.

Coming: Part 2 – 4-Phase Culture-Change Process.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

7 Specific Behaviors to Improve Your Communication and Leadership Effectiveness

Business, political and religious leaders around the world aren’t getting much love these days.A study conducted by Ketchum showed deep dissatisfaction with leaders in “every category of human endeavor.” The global PR firm’s 2012 Leadership Communication Monitorreports a gap of 28 percent between the public’s expectations of leaders and those leaders’ ability to meet those expectations. Only 25 percent of those surveyed feel that our leaders are demonstrating excellent leadership overall.And we are cynical — we expect leaders to be mediocre.But the data also revealed what people want and expect from their leaders.
“The magic formula is straight-talking, action-oriented leadership, powered by honest, transparent communication — with the leader’s personal presence being a critical ingredient,” writes Rod Cartwright, director of Ketchum’s Global Corporate Practice.The research points to seven specific behaviors to improve communication and leadership effectiveness. Ketchum spells them out:

  1. Close the say-do gap. Lead by example, have the courage and commitment to act, and keep a level head during difficult times.
  2. Strong, silent types need not apply. Communicate clearly and consistently, and with humility. Be willing to admit mistakes. Be able to bring out the best in others, and adapt to different personality types.
  3. Don’t sugar-coat it. Speak the truth with purpose and without ambiguity. People can handle a challenge if they understand it and if they have confidence their leader is being straight with them. Explain the issue, explain your plan for addressing it and ask for their help.
  4. Listen, analyze and adjust. Different situations require different leadership styles and skills, i.e. directing, listening, delegating or partnering. Each has corresponding communication needs. Step 1 is to recognize the leadership and communication needs of the situation, and step 2 is to adjust the leadership and communication style to meet those needs.
  5. The way to be seen as trustworthy is to be trustworthy. For individuals or organizations to be seen as leaders, nothing rated higher than trustworthiness, trumping even quality of management, financial strength and innovation.
  6. Let them look you in the eyes. Face-to-face communication is by far the communication channel that creates the greatest sense of leadership credibility.
  7. Traditional is traditional for a reason. How a leader communicates through traditional broadcast and print media is markedly more effective in building trust and leadership credibility than what is communicated through advertising, owned Web sites and social media channels — unless you’re a politician, in which case credibility is fundamentally lacking regardless of the channel.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Developing an Innovation Checklist in Your Leadership Pipeline

A deliberate focus on innovation is critical for organizational growth and development. To truly lead innovation, pay special attention to this checklist:

  • Culture that supports innovation. Culture can kill strategy, so pay constant attention to ways you can build and maintain a culture of innovation. It is vital if you want to ensure your strategy has a chance of survival.
  • People with the right mindset. Having the right tools and developing the right skills without the right mindset is like having a high-performance automobile without gasoline. Leaders must be role models and encourage people to develop their ability to defer judgment, tolerate ambiguity and be genuinely curious.
  • Enabling processes and systems. To break down the organizational barriers to innovation, ensure that people have appropriate governance, funding, resources, support and access to decision-makers.
  • Room to run with ideas. Innovation rarely works according to plan. It flourishes only in a culture where it’s possible for people to try, make mistakes and learn from what happens.
  • A culture of telling “what,” rather than “how.” Finally, remember that the leader’s job is not to tell people how to do things, nor is it to have all the great ideas. Nothing kills innovation more than the “know-it-all leader.” Ensure that you model appropriate humility, offer up your best challenge and then get out of the way to let people amaze you with novel, useful and potentially valuable solutions.

This checklist — along with the toolset, skillset and mindset needed to lead innovation — can be found in “Becoming a leader who fosters innovation,” a CCL white paper by David Horth and Jonathan Vehar. Vehar also writes about innovation on the Leading Effectively blog.

Read more from CCL here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

See more articles by >

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How Do You Face Change?

Change isn’t just something that gets pushed upon us. Change is also inspired, explored, embraced and created by leaders.The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) in the Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA) Region recently hosted “A Day for Change” to explore leadership through the lens of change. Clients, colleagues and leaders from diverse organizations gathered at CCL’s new campus in Brussels — a modern workspace designed to drive learning, interaction and creativity.Here, we touch on a few ideas and themes from the event. Adapt and Thrive through TRUST. Allison Maitland, author of Future Work says: Trust your people; Reward outcomes, not hours; Understand the business case; Start at the top; Treat people as individuals.3 Qualities for Thriving in Change. A mindset of adaptability. The ability to spot new opportunities. Foresight — envisioning where the future is headed.
Leading in a VUCA World. Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity are realities today and will continue to be so in the future. But leaders can transform VUCA, according to Bob Johansen, author of Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World:

  • Volatility yields to Vision.
  • Uncertainty yields to Understanding.
  • Complexity yields to Clarity.
  • Ambiguity Yields to Agility.

Change vs. Transition. Change is the flip of the switch — the decision or experience or introduction of that which is new or different. Transition is the process of adapting to the change. Most of us don’t factor in the challenge of transition. A change that takes 12 weeks to plan and implement typically takes 100 to 120 weeks to integrate. Poorly planned, it may take 200 weeks. Yet, managers and consultants rarely allow more than 26 weeks! Without providing time and attention to transition, organizations fail to see desired benefits of change efforts.

The Collaboration Gap. A CCL study asked senior executives two questions:

  • How important is it for you to collaborate across boundaries in your current role?
  • How effective are you at working collaboratively across boundaries in your organization?

The result: 86 percent said collaboration is “extremely important,” but just 7 percent described themselves as being “very effective” at doing so. How will leaders and organizations resolve this 79 percent gap?

The Power of “Unlearning.” Leaders must see their beliefs, assumptions and stories — and challenge themselves to unlearn what is outdated or invalid. Experiment, explore and try on new mindsets.

Mind Your Mind. The burgeoning field of neuroscience — the study of the nervous system and the brain — has gone mainstream. The race is on to translate its insights into practical applications at work. Implications for leader development include: self-regulation, cognitive health, learning agility and resilience.

The Collaborative Work Ethic. Principles of collaboration are: ownership, alignment, full responsibility, self-accountability, mutual respect, integrity and trust. What does collaboration look like in your organization?

 How do you face change?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

See more articles by >

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

A Talent Development Quick Win

What can you do right away to improve your talent development process?

“Help your leaders so they don’t screw up performance reviews,” advises CCL’s Roland Smith. “Teach them how to hold talent conversations with employees.”

Individual leaders are in the best position to influence and develop talent — or shut it down. By having talent conversations, managers can give employees good reasons to be engaged, work effectively and build their skills.

Importantly, a talent conversation is not done to someone but with someone. It is about building a relationship that allows managers to influence employees toward improved performance, development and positive outcomes.

Talent conversations can happen at any time, but one of the most critical moments for getting them right is during your organization’s regular performance review process.

The first step is for the manager to clarify what type of talent conversation he or she will have with each employee:

  1. The Top Talent Conversation. The message: future investment. Individuals who clearly meet or exceed expectations and deliver superior results are top talent. These are the individuals who are seen as the future leaders in the organization.
  2. The Solid Performer Conversation. The message: maintaining or building value. Solid performers are typically individual contributors who are valued by the organization, but could take on more responsibility.
  3. The Potential Performer Conversation. The message: short-term success. Potential performers are individuals who may not have had enough time in their role to show significant results, but are expected to bring a lot to the role they are in.
  4. The Underperformer Conversation. The message: improve performance. Underperformers are people who are not meeting expectations. The talent conversation should remain focused on the here and now, rather than future options, new tasks or additional responsibilities.

The conversation itself should have a structure, too. It helps for the manager to follow six steps:

  1. Clarify the goal. What is the purpose of the conversation? What exactly does each of us want to accomplish?
  2. Explore the issues. Assess strengths, vulnerabilities, development needs and performance enhancement. Identify motivation and career aspirations.
  3. Identify the options. Generate ideas and opportunities for learning and improvement.
  4. Set expectations. What do we want to do first? Next? What are the obstacles?
  5. Motivate. Are the goals meaningful? What support is needed? How can I help and what other sources are needed?
  6. Identify the plan. How will we know you are on target? How will we track outcomes?

Finally, be sure managers know that whatever other formal talent management or leadership development systems are in place, the talent conversation is where development becomes real. It is the time to build commitment to the organization and engagement in the work. It’s where you have the opportunity to accelerate development and results.

When talent conversations are done right, they are one of the simplest, most effective ways to develop others.

For details of how to prepare managers to hold talent conversations, read “Talent Conversations: What They Are, Why They’re Crucial and How to Do Them Right” by CCL’s Roland Smith and Michael Campbell. Or register for a CCL On-Demand Webinar with the authors.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers what no one else can: an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. We equip clients around the world with the skills and insight to achieve more than they thought possible through creative leadership.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Tips for Improving Your Learning Agility

Learning to be an agile learner takes practice.

In a new white paper, Learning About Learning Agility, a team of researchers from the Teachers College, Colombia University, describe the five main facets of learning-agile behavior. Innovating, performing, reflecting and risking are learning enablers — and defending is a derailer or inhibitor of learning agility.

If you want to look more closely at these learning behaviors, read Are You an Agile Learner in last month’s issue of Leading Effectively.

To boost your learning agility, try these tips:

#1 Innovate. We often choose the first solution to come to mind rather than taking time to consider whether it is truly the optimal course over the long term. By trying out new approaches, you can uncover ways of doing things that could save time and energy and surface new learning that may otherwise have not been considered.

  • For each problem you face, challenge yourself to come up with new solutions, even if seemingly tried and trusted ones exist. Make it a habit to push for new ideas — the less traditional, the better.
  • When faced with a challenge, ask yourself two questions: What is holding me back from trying something new and different? If these constraints were not in place, how would I approach this situation differently?

 

#2 Perform. Under pressure, you probably feel the urge to get things done quickly. Ironically, consciously searching your mind for ideas and solutions closes us off to both the wisdom of others and our own experience. Inspiration often comes from the unconscious; being open to this can spark new ideas and strengthen performance.

  • When faced with something new, look for similarities between the situation and things you have done in the past. Draw on these similarities to frame the new challenge.
  • Ask questions to understand, not to be understood. Really listen to what others are saying and trust that you will have a response when they have finished talking.
  • When you find yourself feeling stressed, pause. Don’t just say or do the first thing that comes to your head — take a moment to consider what is really required.

 

#3 Reflect. Learning occurs when you take the time to reflect, to shift your thinking beyond merely what happened to ask why things happened the way they did. Finding ways to accomplish this, both alone and with others, is essential to learn from experience.

  • Find someone who you trust to give you open and honest feedback and challenge them to do so. Show that you are open to the process by only asking clarifying questions. Resist the temptation to explain your actions or make excuses.
  • Conduct after-action reviews where you, and relevant others, reflect on recent projects by asking three questions: What happened? Why did it happen that way? What should we stop/start/continue doing in order to ensure success in the future?

 

#4 Take Risks. Taking on new challenges allows you to develop new skills and perspectives that may become an important part of your repertoire in the future.

  • Take on a new challenge that scares you; find something that is meaningful but not so important that failure will have serious personal consequences. Most importantly, tell others what you are doing, and ask for their help and support.

 

#5 Don’t Defend. When you enter a mode of self-preservation and try to defend what is, you close yourself off to what could be. To practice non-defensiveness:

  • View feedback as a gift that someone is giving you. You may not like it, and it may be uncomfortable, but there is value in it nonetheless. Regardless of the other party’s motivations for giving you feedback, there is always the opportunity to learn something about yourself.
  • Resist the temptation to respond to feedback, especially at first. Try not to explain your actions to the other person or generate excuses in your own head. Always try to thank the other person.

 

Ultimately, your ability to continuously learn and adapt will determine the extent to which you thrive in today’s turbulent times — and succeed in the future.

Read more here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Columbia University

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.