Leadership development is as much about you as it is about them!
I have heard many mid level and senior level leaders complain about the leadership gaps of their managers and watch them quickly send them through a leadership development program. However, they often have the same or even bigger gaps and never seem to darken the hallways of any leadership development program themselves!
What’s wrong? The problem is that it is easier to quickly identify the faults and weaknesses of others without seeing our own. Even when they are very obvious.
I found the following story the other day that illustrates this in a light and humorous way.
A group of suppliers was once given a tour of a mental hospital. One of the visitors in the group had made some very insensitive and insulting remarks about the patients.
After the tour was completed the visitors were introduced and met with various members of the mental hospital staff in the cafeteria. The unkind visitor chatted with one of the security staff, Bill, a kind and wise ex-policeman.
“Are they all sick and crazy loonies in here then?” the insensitive and rude visitor asked.
“Only the ones who fail the test,” replied Bill.
“What is the test?” asked the man.
Bill replied, “Well, we show them a bath filled with water, a large bucket, a large cup and a spoon. We then ask them what the quickest way to empty the water in the bath would be.”
The man said, “Oh, I see… that is pretty simple – the ‘normal one’ knows it’s the bucket, right?”
“No actually,” replied Bill. “The normal ones say pull out the plug. Should I see if there is a bed free for you?”
It is easy for leaders to get so caught up in seeing the weaknesses of others that they lose sight of their own development needs. However, before we look to develop others, it is wise to do our own personal inventory. What personal leadership development gaps should you be filling?
Question: How do you identify your own leadership development needs?
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