MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAPTER PRESIDENT: DAVID COX
Train, train, train. Develop, develop, develop. That’s what we do, and we are professionals in the training and development of others. We are constantly learning new skills and teaching those skills to others; often in a short period of time. Businesses and non-profits rely on our expertise to keep things moving and growing the company. This is a fun and exciting profession with access to more tools today than ever before. Not only do we need to develop others’ skills, but we must stay on top of our own skills. It is often hard to receive our own development within our own companies.
This is one of the values of ATD and an ATD membership; it allows us to develop and stay current on the latest techniques and technologies. Every time I attend an ATD event, I make it a point to learn something new that can be put into practice.
One of the ways to build various skills is to become a member of the chapter board. Wayne Elsey wrote an article on seven reasons to serve on a nonprofit board and they are applicable to our chapter. I would like to share five of these this with our chapter. 1. It is a great way to build your network and contacts. This is especially true if one is new to the profession or to gain knowledge from other members. 2. Developing diplomacy and dealing with others in issues relating to finance, leadership, and other related areas in another area one can develop. 3. The art of persuasion is a valuable skill for any job but as a board member, one becomes more comfortable with utilizing this skill. 4. Meeting management and efficiency are necessary for a volunteer board because we all are busy. Making meeting more efficient is also a skill for an individual’s entire career. 5. You can learn a lot by taking a deep dive into education, training, technology, or whatever interests you may have. There are lots of varying opportunities being on the board, so if there is an area that interests you, we can find a spot.
What is the point of all of this? Well, I will tell it to you straight without any fancy persuasion or double-talk. We need some help. We need positions filled for 2020. I also have another opportunity for our members. If you are not sure about committing to a full year on the board, how about serving half a year for the remainder of 2019. Please reach out to myself or past president Sandra Neal if you would like more information.
We are going to have one workshop this year in September. The workshop is called the Outward Mindset by Arbinger Institute and will consist of two days training. We have worked out a special arrangement with Arbinger Institute and are offering one of the best prices for a one-time only deal. There are two pricing structures: one for members and one for non-members. You will not get this price next year. Our members have stated they want more leadership training, so we are bringing in a great program for our members, so please take advantage of this opportunity to grow your mindset.
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1. Leaders now guide Agile teams and ad hoc tribes, not direct reports who simply execute their plans.
This is the age of the team. The traditional corporate hierarchy has given way to fluid, cross-functional teams that assemble around a specific project or initiative. Rather than static groups of direct reports charged with executing plans handed down from above, leaders today manage diverse, global teams empowered to operate with agility and autonomy and an emphasis on innovation. Leading these teams requires new competencies and the ability to lead through influence and motivation rather than authoritarian fiat.
2. Good leaders connect and collaborate.
The modern leader rejects visions of absolute authority and promotes the kind of collaborative effort needed to tackle complex problems. They embrace the fluid networks of relationships that have replaced structured corporate pyramids. Yesterday’s leader dictated; today’s leader influences and motivates. That hero leader directed; this digital leader coaches.
3. Modern leaders practice “managed empowerment.”
Today’s leader must practice “managed empowerment.” Leadership today requires an environment of shared purpose and trust where employees feel comfortable proffering ideas and taking risks. Encouraging collaboration and initiative, leaders empower teams to drive autonomous decision making. In a recent survey, 70 percent of respondents said that decision making is often distributed across functions and job roles. Progress no longer hinges on a leader’s approval of every action. Such micromanaging alienates talent, impedes innovation, and cedes ground to more agile competitors.
4. A leader’s success is measured by innovation, not execution.
The leader’s mission is empowering innovation. Technology has disrupted traditional business models. In a 2017 Fortune survey, 73 percent of responding CEOs cited the rapid pace of technological change as their greatest challenge. Companies feel pressure to release new products and services at an ever-accelerating pace, and business survival hinges on innovation and agility. Leaders must learn to recognize trends, identify opportunities, and embrace promising ideas.
5. Training digital leaders requires new mindsets, not just skill sets.
The traditional leader’s cultivated strengths are incompatible with the modern team. While we’re still teaching leaders how to command a room and delegate tasks, many traditional leadership skills no longer fit the contemporary workplace. There is a mismatch between what businesses need from leaders and how we are developing leaders to meet those needs. Developing effective leaders today necessitates no less than a change in mindset. Skills enable actions while mindsets provide context for those actions.
6. Leadership is democratizing.
Work is done in teams, many of which are ad hoc, project-based, and cross-functional. It’s imperative to develop leaders at all levels of an organization. This isn’t a process that starts from scratch; it’s already happening organically. Informal leaders shape the progress of teams they already lead, acting as leaders despite lacking formal titles or designation. In our survey, 91 percent of respondents agreed that these informal leaders can be more effective than formal leaders. The nature of agile teams gives rise to a new model of leadership: the incognito leader.
Develop your talent on its way to the top. Don’t wait until employees become managers to develop them as leaders. Building your bench is crucial to strategic succession planning, and developing employees is critical to retaining them. It’s far easier to mold behaviors and mindsets than it is to change them. Remember, high-potential employees are often already acting as informal leaders. Give them the tools to be effective now so they can step into formal leadership titles later.
Teach coaching. Most managers don’t intuitively know how to develop their people. Coaching allows managers to help their employees reach their goals by establishing rapport and identifying performance gaps. It’s becoming increasingly crucial for retaining top talent, creating a culture of innovation and growth, and realizing the value of a workforce.
Coaching is a highly effective leadership skill yet was the lowest-rated skill in our survey. Only 17 percent of respondents rated their leaders as “high” or “very high” in coaching skills. Adding coaching into a leadership program measurably improves outcomes. A McKinsey study found that successful leadership development programs were five to six times as likely to involve senior leaders acting as mentors and coaches.
Instill critical mindsets, especially a growth and learning mindset. Leaders seeking to learn new skills first need to embrace a growth mindset. Competing today demands leaders who take risks, learn from mistakes, adapt and iterate to achieve success, know they don’t have all the answers, and constantly grow.
The Digital Age mandates a new model of leadership. In an ever-changing competitive landscape that demands exponential growth, innovation has become the leader’s chief objective. Finding the next big idea then doing it again and again requires diversity of thought. The data bears this out: Diverse thinking results in better financial performance, providing a competitive advantage also known as the “diversity bonus.”
Written by ATD Contributor: Heide Abelli
ICEBREAKER FOR TRAINERS
Time Needed: 15 minutes
o Jar of coins containing at least one coin for each participant, plus a few extras
o List of the years on the coins
o Events that happened in those years
First, ask participants to pick a coin from the jar. Ask each participant to look at the year on the coin and think about what they were doing in that year. What remarkable events took place? What was popular culture like? (Participants can pick another coin if they weren’t born during that year or if they’d rather not discuss that time in their life.)
Then, have participants line up in order of oldest to newest coin. Have participants share their thoughts about that year. Add any events that you have on your list if appropriate.
At the end of the activity, discuss what they want this year to look like, and what they are doing to make it so.