416 | Leadership Development is Different than Creating Managers

Leadership development in today’s work is not a nice to have. It is a must. I share a story with you about training a manager when you should have created a leader. This story will help you see areas that you can improve as a leader and keep you focused on leading leaders. Leadership development is required if you want continuous growth in your company. When you think about leadership development, you must know the differences between leaders and managers. Just one of the differences is leaders are not afraid to fail in service of growth. Managers are risk-averse.

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Leadership Development: The Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Leadership development is one of the biggest and most critical issues that is standing in the way of your company growth. If you have people working for you, then you want to develop them as employees. And it really comes down to, you know, how are they going to serve your customers, how are they going to continuously evolve the work and really make a difference inside of what you do?

Hi, my name’s Gene Hammett. I work with hypergrowth companies to help them understand how to continue that growth, how to activate employees, and how to reduce things that are getting in the way and really overcome some of those obstacles.

One of the things that we talk about a lot is leadership development here at our company. My wife is in leadership, I am in leadership. I’m working with executive teams, and leadership development is something that happens whether you believe it or not, whether you’re putting money into it or not. Because people are either developing bad skills or not. So let’s talk about leadership development for a second. You wanna understand that there’s a big difference between developing managers and developing leaders. That is really a big idea that I want to unpack here today is the difference between these two.

Well first, managers manage a task, and leaders lead people. Managers are risk-averse, leaders are willing to fail to really activate new growth. Managers focus on efficiency, leaders focus on creating a new path. Managers fine tune, leaders innovate. You know, I could go on and on here, but you kind of get the idea.

There’s a big difference. And I’m not saying that we don’t need managers inside of our workforce, but we can’t confuse managers and leaders. And you really want leadership development, mainly because we are, you know, facing pace of change that just never happened before, and it’s not going to get slower. I talk to rooms and executives all the time. No one believes it’s going to get slower. It’s going to speed up. So you’ve got to get ahead of this, you’ve got to be much more intentional about leadership development.

One of my favorite stories is that of former CEO of the Home Depot, Frank Blake. I tried for months and months to get him on the show and was thrilled to be able to interview him, but he was mentored by Jack Welch. He shared with me one of the keys to surviving under Jack, and here it is. He said Jack loved for you to do what he’d say to do. He loved for managers to come in and take a process and continuously work it, get the kinks out, make it more efficient. But he also loved leaders who were willing to go against what he said, what he thought was right, and prove him wrong. Because he really understood the value of having people to think through problems creatively, and that is really what we’re talkin’ about, as leaders are willing to think through the issues and work with people and develop the people around them, whereas managers focus on the task and making things more efficient. And that just doesn’t work in today’s fast-changing world.

Now, I shared this story with you about Frank Blake because I wanna highlight one thing here. I asked him about the values of an entrepreneur spirit inside the workforce, and he mentioned that it’s for one reason, risk-taking. We can’t have people who are afraid to take risk. And managers just aren’t willing to take the risk that leaders are. And leaders do it to serve the growth of all things, not themselves, but the whole organization, of the culture, and for the growth of what’s good for customers and what’s good for everyone else.

So I shared all this with you because I work with a lot of teams that confuse the fact that they’re developing managers or they’re developing leaders, and leadership development really does take some intention around this. So let’s go over a few things that it requires. The first thing it requires is it’s not about training. You don’t want to train someone to be a leader. You want to create experiential experiences where they can be facilitated, and they will actually solve problems themselves. They will actually be doing it, not just learning about it because you don’t learn about leadership, you do it, which comes to the second one, being versus doing. Most of leadership is about who you’re being, not what you’re doing.

When you can focus and have conversations about who you’re being and who you’re causing others to be, you will have a much deeper, richer conversations than you will if you just focus on the things to do as a leader. It just doesn’t work that way.

Secondly, mentors are usually present when you want to have it. I shared the story of Jack Welch mentoring Frank Blake, or young Frank Blake, if you will, and I could see that it is very powerful inside of organizations. I’ve been in corporate America, so it was powerful for me to have right mentors. In many cases, I couldn’t get the mentors I wanted, but it really is something that you want to put in place is the right mentorship.

Finally, I wanna leave this with coaching. I work a lot with coaching because that’s what I do, and I share this with you because I really believe if you want to create the kind of leadership development in your organizations, you wanna have coaches that are willing to challenge the status quo with you and really rock the boat a little bit and push you to the boundaries of who you are. I work with teams now that are doing this, and it just, fantastic results we have in developing their leadership, improving their clarity, improving their confidence, having more courage, it really is a lot of fun. So you wanna make sure you understand the difference between creating managers and developing leaders.

Let’s wrap this up with this. Leadership development is about intention, whereas you want the right leadership development that will take your company to places it’s never been. Failing to develop your leaders is a quick way to get them to leave, or worse, get them to stay and fail to move the needle.

My name’s Gene Hammett, I work with leaders and leadership teams to create leadership development programs that really do challenge the status quo. If you have any questions about this, I’d love to engage with you about how you’re doing it in your company. Just reach out to me at [email protected]. As always, lead with courage, and I’ll see you next time.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.



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