Leadership is a word that has a broad meaning and leadership development is what? Do we know or has it become a grey area? About the only consensus that we can find is that management is not leadership, yet some would argue that you need to be able to manage effectively before you can lead.
However leadership development still remains as academic as possible and the reason is simple … ‘Facts are easier to teach than creativity and emotion’. Yet this does not make leadership development effective and I would argue that it’s a gross waste of money.
Why don’t we teach Creativity and Emotion?
We have been conditioned to think that creativity and emotion have no part in our working environment. We believe that work is work and play is play. Work is serious and play is fun. This approach is interesting to say the least, especially when we consider that Play is the opposite of Work (according to the dictionary that is). Yet we know that people are more productive and creative when they having fun.
We can agree we are faced with a dilemma. How do we solve this and how do we change the way we develop leaders? Simple have a look at leadership and you will notice that leadership is all about relationship. To be effective in any relationship you need to be able to establish trust and communicate (listen, talk and interact), putting your words into actions – Is that not what leadership is about? The technical skills that a leader may need can be learnt but more often than not the relationship skills come too late.
Lets teach relationship skills – listening, interacting and communicating effectively, so that trust can be built amongst people. Then we will have leaders, because our first profession is leadership and then whatever else we chose to do.