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Why Leadership and Development Programs are like Eating Programs (Diets)

Recently, I was reading a report just like nerds do within a specific industry and I was looking over the most recent state of leadership according to Harvard business publishing. What the report said was Leadership and Development programs are like eating programs.

Harvard said leadership development is like a diet. No I'm totally kidding, but that was the biggest inference that I received from the report, now here's what I mean.

We intuitively know that leadership and development is important, and we know that we need to learn and grow.  

This data from this research confirms that implementing leadership methods and techniques into our business will help us succeed by generating more revenue, increased loyalty, and creating greater impact.

But we know that it's not fun, it's not sexy to be a transformational leader because it requires doing things that are hard, like serving others and putting others needs before our own.

And isn't it just the same way with an eating program? It’s not fun to eat salads. It’s hard to say no to dessert. It's difficult to be disciplined and to walk the straight and narrow. But the results are a healthier and more productive life.

This is very similar to business because the results of all that discipline are the same, more success, higher performance more fulfillment.

So, leadership development is like an eating program. Of course, we have to do things that we don't like as humans. We have to use the same willpower, ambition, or discipline, and apply that to our decision making.

But what's the opportunity, what's the good news, Wesley? Because, I don't like diets and I don't have time for leadership development in my business, or it's too expensive or whatever.

Well here's the problem, the news gets worse, according to the report I read, young adults, millennial employees, are very critical of leadership development programs in their organizations. They are more critical than any other older generation.

This is problematic because millennial's are continuing to dominate the workforce as far as your numbers are concerned. The statistics show that these young adults are giving development programs such low scores, that their engagement and commitment to those programs is drastically reduced.

The opportunity is big here for organizations.

In our curriculum, we talk a lot about how to turn these necessary pieces of training into interesting lessons that young adults will want to absorb. The key to leadership development is emphasizing and executing the program from the top down. Sure, it's possible for leaders who are middle-management to make major changes, but the higher up the initiative goes, the more likely a company has to be successful in deploying a vehicle for positive change.

Just like a diet or an eating program, we've got a buckle down and make these changes. If you're waiting for a catalyst or a jolt of lightning before you make a change, you're not only going to be behind the competition, but it's most likely going to be very, very painful. Don't wait until your organization is behind and trying to reclaim lost ground.

The opportunity is now.

I encourage you to read the full report here. One of the main points is that organizations that are focusing on meaningful leadership and development are also delivering the best performance in revenue growth, market position, and long-term growth potential. If you know that this isn’t you and your organization, let’s work together to drive the growth that you know you can achieve.

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