In today’s Wall Street Journal, Joe Light writes about how leadership training is gaining back momentum due to the strong economy. http://on.wsj.com/b0RGES . He writes, due to layoffs and fears of a leadership pipeline of qualified managers, companies are bolstering their leadership efforts. Several surveys from human resources consulting firms confirm that budgets for leadership development efforts are increasing and plans to revamp leadership development and training are on the rise. I applaud these efforts.
As I was reading his article, I kept asking myself the question, why did leadership development programs in the first place lose their mojo? I understand the economy had something to do with it. Companies cut their training budgets by 11% in 2008 and 2009 according to Bersin & Associates, a human resources consulting firm. Survival was on the minds of many business leaders, so was growth and opportunities in a down economy. Smart companies like Lockheed, Rockwell, Capital One, P&G, GE are just a few who continued to invest heavily in their leaders despite the economy. That’s leadership. In fact, it is all about leadership and helping your team get better everyday….and that includes you too.
As a leader, you need to make tough decisions and determine where you need to make investments to help your company prosper now and in the future. I suggest, developing your leaders to be in your top three priorities. Not just this year but every year. You see, there is still a war for talent. Employee engagement is at an all time low and you can not afford to lose your best talent. Make strategic investments in your people, think of them as a capital assets and measure the outcomes of your leadership investment.
By doing so, you will help to ensure the long term vitality of your business and your leadership legacy.