[July 3, 2018] Leaders are not born and people don’t instantly become leaders just because they are given a position of responsibility. Leaders teach others to lead because that is the only way an individual can become an effective leader of people.
“A mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled.” – Plutarch, Greek biographer and essayist
Research has shown that when leaders teach other leaders, there is a long list of positive outcomes.
- It shows that leaders care about their employees.
- It shows that learning is something highly valued.
- It provides leaders with a platform to reinforce core values.
- It helps manage expectations.
- Is part of a positive work culture.1
You can learn leadership, in part, by reading and studying books. You can also learn it from your parents and friends. But to truly learn leadership requires a specific agenda developed and administered by one or more senior leaders.
In other words, any leadership development that works is one that is thought out in advance, planned, and executed on a flexible timeline that is adjusted to the needs of those who are students of leadership.
“Leaders teaching leaders” is the phrase most often used to describe this process. It gives us a hint that the responsibility is with other leaders. True to form, those organizations that have clearly articulated programs of teaching leaders how to be leaders, are those that are most successful.
Sadly, many leadership programs have failed to provide a return on the investment. The issue that research on this subject has discovered is that a company’s senior leadership must be fully committed to it and free up the resources. Ultimately what these programs do is show leaders what right looks like and what it looks like from those who have been there before.
- This list was developed in part by the work done by Andrea Derler in her article: http://blog.bersin.com/leaders-teaching-leaders-an-important-element-of-leadership-development/