When It Comes To Developing Leaders, We are Betting not Investing

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If you are like me, you were taught that leadership development is an investment that every company should make. Thus, Mark Miller caught me off guard in his new book “Chess Not Checkers”, when he described this investment as gambling. After all, the availability of resources does not guarantee an individual will become a leader.

Remember the law of intentionality: growth doesn’t just happen.

A few examples of this type of betting:

  • Companies boast about their leadership development content to have only a small percentage of their leaders actually utilize the content.
  • Robust training guides on performance and talent assessments that are rarely used.
  • Detailed onboarding programs in which individuals just go through the motions.

As a matter of fact, I have personally wasted resources by enrolling in a Franklin Covey online leadership course that I didn’t use until the very last minute and ended up missing 40% of the content.

You might be thinking, If certain individuals aren’t going to use the resources, why should we make the investment?

I have a simple answer: it’s better to train those that want to become leaders and improve the company, than having no training and keep the company the same.

The Information Age has changed the name of the game. We are now playing chess instead of checkers. Change is necessary in order to succeed. We need continuous transformation of our business strategy. This can only be accomplished by those individuals that are willing to take charge and lead.

If we start worrying about these leaders leaving the company after all the investment made, we must remember Richard Branson’s advice:

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. – Richard Branson

Read more about the book at chessnotcheckers.com

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