I am working on an exciting rewrite of my Leadership Training book, which will be one of three books out later this year in the ASTD Trainer's WorkShop Series. In this blended series of books, you get the PowerPoint slides, supply lists, teaching notes, exercises, and logistics to teach a one-hour, half-day or two-day workshop on the topic. I looked at what I wanted to change in this edition and I began to lay out the 13 competencies of leaders (found in my ASTD Infoline Critical Competencies for 21st Century Leaders).
The one hour version was really easy. After all, one hour is an overview, so it needs a quick experiential activity with an explanation of the framework and how to learn more. The half day drills down a bit more, but is also a pretty quick pass at leadership. To tell the truth - you can't change leadership performance in a one hour or half day experience, but you can trigger awareness that drives additional learning at a later date.
I made a matrix of the 13 competency groups and started to look for ways to grow these competencies experientially over two days, a bit like a Sudoku puzzle. The math didn't work. I found myself doing just what I hate - throwing content into a timeline to 'get it done'. I realized that it was wrong and immoral to blast people with 13 competencies one at a time if the goal was to grow leadership performance. My inner voice said, "Leaders don't apply competencies one at a time, they apply them all at one time." When I asked for a reboot, the ATD (formerly ASTD) team said "Go for it!" and I went back to the drawing board to build a two day experiential case study that integrates all 13 competencies and drives learning through doing.
In this issue, I'd like to share some quick ideas about ways you can grow leadership by yourself or with your team without throwing content at them. Each of these provokes self-awareness and reflection. All of these can be done in person and also will work through webinars and/or discussion boards if you have distributed teams. Let me know which ones you try in the comments below