August 28

Are You Developing Yourself?

When is the right time to start becoming a great leader?

Jack Zenger, articulated that most young professionals are “Starting Too Late” to develop their leadership skills: “We wait too long to begin developing leaders.  When do managers first get leadership training?  On average, at age 42 – about 10 years after they began supervising people.”  Why did they wait?

From my experience, most people wait for their company to develop them.  It is unusual that young professionals would invest in themselves, especially to develop their leadership skills.

We love to purchase ‘things’ (especially technology: computers, tablets, phones, etc.), we hire personal trainers to help us work out and look the way we want to look, we spend thousands on cars, but we don’t invest in developing ourselves as a leader.  Maybe that is too harsh because some of us will buy a book and read some of it (20,000 books on leadership sold over a million copies last year – made this up).

Zenger went on to say that “Prior research has shown that less than 10% of leaders, left to their own devices, will have any personal plan of development without the encouragement of some formalized process sponsored by their company.”

Do you know anyone that has taken personal accountability for how well they lead and to become a great leader? Who benefits from personal leadership development?  We do!  If we stand to gain the biggest benefit from becoming a great leader, it stands that we need to invest the time and money to get the job done.  The world will reward those who know how to lead.  Most companies are over-managed and under-led we need ‘extraordinary’ leaders.

Ok, so maybe you have not started developing yourself but the past does not equal the future.  Decide to become an outstanding leader and find a way to do it!

Challenge Questions:

  • How have I been investing in myself and what kind of return has that produced?
  • If I became a great leader, how would that affect me personally, my job satisfaction, and my career opportunities?

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