What the Super Bowl DIDN’T tell us about Leadership Development…

February 6th, 2015

NFL-2015-Super-Bowl-BackgroundThe band wagon mentality on social media can work on occasions. The ability to draw upon a recent event and take stock of what it can teach us in terms of leadership development has it place.

This has been very apparent over the last few days on LinkedIn, particularly in light of last weekend’s Super Bowl. I was expecting a large number of ‘leadership lessons we take can take from…’ posts within hours and there they were!

HOWEVER, we can only read so much into these quick-fire, knee-jerk reaction leadership messages.

Yes, environments change, but rather than taking lessons from the most recent events or five minute celebrity wonders, the most meaningful lessons about leadership can be taken from closer to home, from listening to your potential champions, the ones that ‘have your back’ – YOUR PEOPLE.

But this will take time. What I’ve experienced and learnt from speaking with learning and development professionals is that the longer they spend going through a detailed training needs analysis with their rising stars – the deeper the leadership lessons will be embedded once training programme has commenced. And the better the training needs analysis, the better the learning. It’s important to not just collect top level data, but to spend time talking to your people and finding out how they feel – it doesn’t have to be formal, it just needs to be done.

So, in conclusion leadership development can never be engineered from quick fire wins. With the right amount of time spent, you won’t need to jump on the band wagon, you’ll have a programme that works for everyone. Provide your talent with your time, investment and ears and they will drive the future success of your organisation.

By Matt Elson