The longer I have been presenting leadership development seminars, the stricter I have become about making sure the organization is ready for true, lasting culture change before I go out and present a 2-day seminar.
When I talk to CEO’s, Superintendents, Presidents of non-profit organizations, Bishops, and those in religious organizations who are planning events for clergy and lay leadership, I make sure that the top leadership will be actively engaged in the classes while I am at their locations, and they will follow up by publicly and privately practicing the tools given after the leadership classes are over.
I have been amazed over the years at how much money a top leader/decision maker will spend on a leadership development initiative, but then they themselves will not even attend the class! I have also been amazed at how difficult it has been to track down those responsible for coordinating the class and get them on a conference call to go through details so the two days will run smoothly.
If you are a top decision maker in your company and you are reading this, my hope is that you will not take offense, but realize that walking the talk is of utmost importance. If your employees see you excited about a leadership development program before it gets there, if they see you in the class, taking notes, moving your normal schedule around so you can be there just like everyone else, and if they see you after the classes truly practicing and speaking the language of the tools presented, you will not only get your money’s worth, but you will empower by example. If you truly want your leadership to shift permanently into motivating and holding their teams accountable for results as a lifestyle, your powerful presence and participation is not an option.
It was Ghandi that said “be the change you want to see in the world…”