Practical Leadership Development

What happens here can transform

By   Pete Pillsbury

All too often the focus in leadership training or development courses is on learning about research on effective leadership and various theories of leadership; participants are likely to walk away with more clarity on the concepts of effective leadership and greater understanding of the research and theories of leadership. However, they are mostly left on their own to figure out what these concepts mean personally and how they are translated into effective leadership behaviors on the job.

Recognizing this behavioral gap, TargetSuccess set out to develop leadership training that was light on research and concepts yet heavy on practice of behaviors. Light on research or concepts does not mean that research and concepts are not important. In fact, they are of critical importance, and we cite the sources of our research for those who wish to delve deeply into the theoretical side. However, we believe; that busy leaders trying to be effective in the daily whitewater of leadership, like yourself, do not have time to discuss the latest leadership theory. Therefore, in our leadership development courses, we have done the research for you. We have formulated the concepts consistent with what other leaders in the field have found and for which there is near universal agreement. This means that participants in our leadership development courses do not have to spend valuable time listening to the research and theories behind the concepts. Rather, they can focus on practice and behaviors which will strengthen their day to day leadership.Our practical leadership development model takes the theories and concepts and boils them down into concrete, simple leadership behaviors that are emblematic of great leaders. So what do some of these behaviors look like, and where do they come from?

They come from:

•    A bigger than life desire to help and serve people in ways that will make them more successful

•    A bold, audacious, compelling vision for the future of the organization

•    An unrelenting commitment to excellence

•    A huge ability to care about people

•    Highly effective use of all the resources available to the organization


They look like:

•    Controlling ego, allowing one to have humility and place the focus on others

•    Simple acts of taking a genuine interest in people

•    Asking others what they think

•    Refraining from having the answers

•    Stepping back from an intense meeting and observing what is happening

•    Involving people in decisions that will have an impact on them

•    Demonstrating thoughtfulness toward others

•    Acting with integrity

•    Being warm and friendly

•    Asking people to tell you about themselves

•    Keeping your story to yourself unless asked

•    Giving credit for success to the people you lead

•    A hand written thank you note

•    Asking someone a self-affirming question

•    A scheduled time for quiet and reflection

•    Asking people how they are feeling about their work

•    Asking people what they think about something that is being proposed

•    Bringing groups who disagree on something together to build a consensus resolution

•    Listening

•    Building partnerships

•    Using a continuous improvement process for all systems in the organization