Where We Are Missing the Boat in Leadership Development

Leadership development is wanted, no demanded, according to this article in Business Insider.  Two thirds of the college educated millennials surveyed by Deloitte are looking to leave their current employers in the next four years.  The main reason is a lack of leadership development.

Boats-TwoThis research confirms what employers want – employees with leadership skills and yet they are not getting college graduates with the necessary skills to be effective leaders.  Hint: If you want a great book on effective leadership, read Drucker’s The Effective Executive.

Now think about what this survey has actually revealed.  After 16 years of education young people know:

  • They lack the necessary self-leadership skills required in the workplace
  • Leadership skills are necessary for employment mobility

Very few high schools develop self-leadership skills. There are exceptions such as Culver Military Academy located in Culver, IN.

Leadership for many schools is oriented to community service projects with the hope the leadership skills or rather self-leadership skills will transfer through an osmosis process.

Self leadership is the ability to lead yourself first before you can lead others. 

Even though there are many good to great teachers, they never developed all the leadership skills demanded in a knowledge economy.  Therefore, teachers are limited in the skills they model or even teach.

The best example to demonstrate this lack of leadership development is through “goal setting.”  Years ago in giving a keynote graduation speech to high school seniors I shared this interactive story.

How many of you or your parents, caregivers have ever shopped at the local grocery store?  Please raise your hands. Now how many of you or your parents had a written grocer list in hand?  Please raise your hands.  Have any of you observed that written grocery list being left at home, forgotten?  Again, please raise your hands?  What happened? (I called on those with raised hands.) And by the way, when you forget that written grocery list, whose plan are you now on, yours or the owner of the store?

May we have agreement that from forgetting something, wasting more time, buying things not needed, spending more money, having to go back to get want was forgotten and feeling upset all have importance, significant importance. (Please raise your hands).  So if a written grocery list has significant importance because of the wasted resources of time, energy, money and emotions, where is the written plan for the rest of your life? If you don’t have that written plan, then you are somebody’s else’s plan.  Personally for me that is not an option.  Do you want someone else to be controlling your future?

Leadership development should begin in junior high and continue through out high school.  By the time young people decide on their post secondary education path, they should have a solid foundation of leadership skills including:

  • Communication (listening, speaking and writing)
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Financial
  • Goal setting and goal achievement
  • Positive attitude development
  • Social
  • Team collaboration
  • Time management (Really self-management as no one can manage a constant)

When our society recognizes that leadership development is an investment in the future of our young people and more importantly in our economic growth, then everyone wins.

The Career and College Success Boot Camp is all about leadership development. Classes are forming now for the summer of 2016. Call Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.508.2859 to learn more.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leadership in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

 

 

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