I was truly honored to have the opportunity to participate in LEAD 2015 (http://www.leadershipexcellenceanddevelopment.com/) and to hear President Bill Clinton speak as well as leadership thought leader Ken Blanchard. Our program was ranked 3rd in the International Partners and Providers category which is a humbling experience. It is those that we serve that have made this possible. President Clinton was asked to describe all that he had talked about and what leadership was about in one word. That one word was “service”. When we look at mentoring no matter the capacity that we are looking at it is truly all about “service”. Ken Blanchard spoke on “servant leadership” which followed on the heels of President Clinton’s presentation. A perfect segue if there ever was one.
Some interesting observations from President Clinton’s presentation. Good leaders envision, explain, include and execute. That is what sets them apart from the rest. Taking the time to explain and I would suggest engage your employees’ shows respect. I hear far too many stories of where managers, supervisors and want to be leaders fail to engage their employees in any decision making process as that would their weakness as a leader. After all they have all the answers and they obviously know better as they are the manager/supervisor.
You will recall my reference to the Deloitte report (http://dupress.com/periodical/trends/human-capital-trends-2015/) on Human Capital Trends for 2015. Leadership was ranked #2 narrowly missing the number one ranking by culture and engagement. What is disappointing is that there was no improvement in the leadership space, in fact we digressed from 2014. A lot of what President Clinton and Ken Blanchard talked about was the need for leadership to move forward as without it we are like a ship in water without a rudder and no sense of direction. All of the global changes could be diminished or even go away with strong leadership.
Strong leadership can be achieved if we support it through the implementation of mentoring as part of a leadership development program. Effective mentors will assist potential and existing leaders in navigating through these challenges that we are currently facing and will face in the future. Effective mentoring is not about telling leaders how to solve these problems/challenges but asking the right questions to guide them to the answers. Effective mentoring can create a learning and development environment for your organization and that creates a space where strong leaders will germinate and grow.
The biggest challenge in most organizations is to be willing to seek help to address the leadership problems before they impact the bottom line any further. Like most things that we deal with admitting that there is a problem is the first step – envisioning that there is a problem. The second step is to explain why there is a problem and what we are going to do. The third is to engage your people as part of the solution. Together there is nothing you cannot achieve. Finally, you actually need to do something or execute on what needs to take place to resolve the issue.
Effective mentoring is part of the solution to the leadership challenge. You do need to execute on this solution – “can you afford not to?”