Monday, July 14, 2008

Leadership Development can't just be of Leaders

Having had a conversation about how "leadership is developing leaders" with someone, and being tired of the 6.5 billion irrefutable laws of leading and following, and how often I hear individuals speak of being a "leader of leaders" but never interact with these proteges as it pertains to their ACTUAL FOLLOWERS!, I had the following outline of thought.

1. Leadership development is not just developing leaders but giving them opportunities.
a. There is leadership development of skills, character, history, etc.
b. But there is ALSO develop opportunities for them to learn how to lead: by practice, experience

2. Otherwise "leadership development" is just developing individuals, it's not generating anything that needs to be led!
a. That is, self-promoting in that it is circular (cf. old story about the lighthouse that turned into the lighthouse society that was too busy being a society to save sailors anymore)
b. That is, it would never be FOR the followers but just FOR the leaders!

3. Thus, "leadership development" is the development of individuals (leaders) AND expressions of leadership (on behalf of of the followers) or it will ALWAYS be hypothetical (or worse, circular)

Implication: NOT every leader can/should be involved in this scope of Leadership Development. It is, much more so, a very different kind of leadership development that is not for every leader (due to history, genetics, etc.). In fact, a Leadership Coach/Developer might not be much of a leader at all, but might be a masterful coach who also comes up with/finds expressions of leadership.

Example: Leadership Development in the International (actually, Chinese) District of Seattle. Leadership Development should certainly include skills, theory, character, etc. But if they don't actually get out an lead, then we've done nothing but propagate titles.

[Even worse would be that we now call this person a sage and ask him/her to train others who do nothing but train others]
So leadership development would need to also include actually leading. Perhaps:
+ Creating a "clean up the street" program to be led by developing leaders
+ Founding, staffing, helping create curriculum for a "big Brother training center" where developing leaders can run/manage/engage
+ Handing a young leader the topic of:
"self-sustaining food production inside This District"
Paperwork aid for non-English speakers
homeless legal defense

All examples of something that is done for the locals, on behalf of the locals, with the locals, etc.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Why I like Seth Godin - his single lines

It may take reading the whole (albiet, short) post to get meaning from the one line, but it's worth it in the case of this post on perks/expectations. Or maybe he has one lines that are incredible and then fleshes them out.

Either way, the post is worth pondering as it pertains to business AND loving my neighbor (or family member or stranger or the person on the other side of the counter at any given retail outlet).