Thursday, May 13, 2010

Orrin Woodward- Top 100 Blog Posts That Will Make You a Better Leader

The Online Degree website recently ranked one of Orrin Woodward's articles, Define, Learn, Do - 3 Keys to Success, at number 15 of the Top 100 Blog Posts That Will Make You a Better Leader.

In an older article I just recently read, a survey was conducted by Executive Development Associates to study the trends in executive development with 100 chief learning officers and heads of leadership-development departments from top companies around the world.  The survey asked these leaders who were responsible for the executive development of their respective companies ad organizations what learning methods they would use the most to develop their talent.  Specifically, the survey wanted to know how will their leaders learn? And to determine the most effective ways for leaders to learn.

The survey discovered  that 3 learning methods widely regarded as especially effective dominated the methods that would be heavily utilized. 
  1. Senior Executives as Faculty,  (or leader-led learning)
  2. Action Learning, and
  3. Executive coaches
When the EDA followed up with those responsible for the executive development, here's what they found in utilizing these top methods of training and development:

Again, 100 companies responded when we asked those responsible for learning and leadership development to tell us if these three powerful learning methods had increased in importance, stayed the same, or decreased in importance. Here's what we learned:
Leader-Led (using our own executives to teach)
43% - Increased
52% - Stayed the same
5% - Decreased
Action Learning
41% - Increased
55% - Stayed the same
4% - Decreased
Executive Coaching
51% - Increased
38% - Stayed the same
9% - Decreased
In looking at each of the 3 methods, here is what the article reported:
The use of senior executives as faculty (leader-led learning) is the most popular method for developing leaders--the first time in the 21-year history of our Trends Survey that this method has topped the list. Three-quarters of the companies say they will be using their top executives to actually teach in their programs, not just show up for the kick-off or closing ceremonies. 
 From as far back as I have been involved with Orrin Woodward and the Team, this has been probably the primary method for everyone participating with Team to develop their own leadership.  From the Men's and Ladies' Leadership events, the monthly Seminars and Ticket-Holder Meetings, certainly the Major Leadership Conventions and even at the local Open Meeting level, the Team has always employed "Leader-Led" learning at every level.  Orrin calls it a meritocracy where those with the greatest degree of results, would, of course, be the most qualified to teach.
Closely following this method is Action Learning (working in teams on current problems or opportunities; both to address real business challenges and to develop the participants simultaneously).
Again here, Team has continuously employed what the EDA survey finds to be one of the top methods employed to train & develop leaders.  "Action Learning" is simply a matter of course on the Team and with the Mona Vie Team.  There is no better classroom or lab than the real world and building a real business with real people.  All of which demands your ongoing leadership development.  Since the Mona Vie Team business builds gradually, it is the perfect setting in which to develop the interpersonal relationship and leadership skills necessary to take your team or organization to its next level.  The speed of the team is the speed of the leader (or leaders) leading it.  The Team has always known and practiced the principal that personal leadership development is necessary for ongoing business growth.
The other significant finding is the high ranking of executive coaching--the first time this sometimes controversial learning method has cracked the top five. It appears that after recent years of both hype and sniping on the benefits of executive coaching, it has gained favor, even though some believe its popularity has peaked. Nevertheless, with executives increasingly under the gun to move quickly and make complex decisions, it makes sense that companies would want a coach to walk managers through challenging situations with a potentially big payoff from the performance improvement that can be gained
This last finding is basic common sense and shows just how 'uncommon' that sense can be.  It almost sounds as if this is a surprise that people who are being coached by executives further along in the process would become more proficient themselves.  This is the whole idea of being 'mentored'.  Trying to 'go it alone' or 'figure it out myself' is certainly one way to do things and acquire the experience and knowledge to grow and succeed.  But wouldn't it make a lot more sense to learn from someone who has already encountered that obstacle, resolved that issue, been down that path, and any other way to say it.  Successful leaders leave a footprint and create a path for those to follow.  Many times leaders find the pitfall themselves and can point out the dangers the next leaders will face or at least prepare them for what will most certainly be encountered in their own journey.  Coaching and mentorship opportunities are invaluable to anyone seeking to expand their horizons whether it be in a personal setting or a professional endeavor. 

I am thankful to have been exposed to a System that has always focused on developing the individual first, equipping and encouraging them to become whoever & whatever they can knowing that the rest that is required for success is almost academic.  It's simply a matter of putting it all into practice.

It can start here in Louisville, KY.