Investing in The Leadership Challenge Today

Tina Admans

A solid leadership development program is not a discretionary decision; it's a key strategic move. Rather than looking for external solutions or waiting for the economy to come back, organizations are investing in developing leaders now. They have made the decision that, even in turbulent times, it is the right time to bring The Leadership Challenge into their organization. At its core, it will help create opportunities today by unleashing the talent and creativity that's already within the organization.

Here's a success story: The client with whom I am currently working knows the value of this investment and has launched a leadership development program using The Leadership Challenge. They are facing the same challenges as any other company - declining sales, layoffs, canceled projects, etc. Too often they have felt their leaders were working in silos, communication was limited and stifled, and there was a lack of urgency and accountability. The Leadership Challenge was implemented along with the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), a diagnostic assessment of leadership behaviors. In combination, this program and assessment has helped leaders recognize that they need to look in the mirror and stop looking to others to make things better. Some leaders were disengaged, doing only what was required before the workshop. But now they are actively seeking ways to reach out to others and volunteering to lead company projects.

The group LPI results showed that, overall, the team had the lowest frequency on one of the behaviors, Challenge the Process. They were not good at taking risks and admittedly had fallen into a rut. Things were being done the same way they had for years but customers were demanding more cost-efficiencies. During the workshop, each participant was asked to define a business issue for the Challenge the Process segment. They needed to define how they would gain outsight (that is, learning from other departments and companies) and what small victories would look like. They have continued to work on these projects and have now launched a companywide Continuous Learning/Continuous Improvement program. They all ask, "What have we learned?" in their meetings and have sparked employee interest in generating cost-saving ideas.

Results from the organization's investment in The Leadership Challenge are already beginning to pay off. Their leadership journey has just begun but the investment they are making now, when times are tough, is already returning benefits and ensuring they will thrive through this downturn—not just survive it.

Tina Admans, for over 20 years has been working with individuals, teams, and organizations in the U.S. and abroad to develop their leadership ability, team and process effectiveness, communication and change management skills—as a leader inside corporations and as an independent consultant. Currently Senior Project Manager, Marketplace at American Public Media, she is a trained facilitator of The Leadership Challenge and a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma. She can be reached at tina.admans@earthlink.net.

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