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Are You Inclusive in Your Leadership Team Development?

Leadership development is for teams, too. 

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When it comes to leadership teams, there's often an expectation that everyone is fully developed and empowered with superior leadership AND team skills.

It seldom works out that way. To remedy the situation, team effectiveness workshop are held and leadership training is introduced. 

The problem is that those two elements are not integrated.   

Are You Inclusive in Your Leadership Team Development?

Leadership team development is not the same as individual leadership development

Whether leadership development takes place in a corporate setting or in an open enrollment environment, it's usually reserved for a select number of individuals. Those chosen few are typically the sole representative from their own team or department. 

Developing the leadership potential of individuals has merit. But this approach should not be confused with the stronger approach of developing an entire team. 

Providing leadership development to all members of the team gives them all a common language, framework and accountability for demonstrating leadership. But even this approach may be lacking.

Sending every member of the team through a leadership development program often remains an individual-focused effort. Side-by-side, as a cohort, the members of the group learn about themselves and how to become stronger individual leaders. 

Individual leaders sometimes compete, perhaps inadvertently. Visions clash when crafted or massaged by individuals. Decision-making is less inclusive when individuals lead without thinking in the context of the team. Collaboration is deemed too difficult. 

Leadership team development goes beyond the development of individual leaders

To develop as a team of leaders, there's more to do. 

It starts with shifting to a more inclusive approach -- Teams of leaders developing the team and their own leadership (individually and collectively). 

As a team, values are determined together. A vision is truly shared. Alignment of values and vision and voice factor in to the leadership team's development. 

While individuals simultaneously strengthen and sharpen their leadership skills, the team as a whole is also developing together (intentionally and with top priority). 

Leadership team development has a trickle down effect

When a leadership team works together to develop as a team of leaders, others benefit, too.

It's a cascading effect. A leadership team unifies others and inspires people throughout the organization by using their collective voice. A developed team speaks in one accord, with each voice echoing and magnifying all the other voices.

Clarity and consistency make everyone's path easier. Across the organization, a pervasive feeling of being part of something bigger begins to spread. It's the natural outgrowth of this clarity. 

Empowered and inspired employees respond. Higher levels of engagement, more positive feelings about the workplace, and emotional commitment lead to stronger retention rates and higher productivity.  

Leadership team members support each other and continue to grow together. As they develop, the organization develops, too. 

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The CONNECT2Win Blog has been discontinued. The CONNECT2Lead Blog continues, and you'll find free and affordable resources for team on People First Leadership Academy