This past month, I have had numerous requests for courses on the critical soft skills that we often overlook- communications, leadership, team building, how to deal with the press, etc. Unfortunately many organizations do not think that these are important until a crisis occurs or until it is a “do or die” situation with an employee.
These types of skills should be constantly developed as an employee grows in your organization. Many employers are tempted to say that they only train future leaders or executives and let the rest of their employees sit underdeveloped or “unwatered”. What do I mean by “unwatered”? Think of your employee pool as a desert and until it gets water, one never sees the true beauty of the landscape. Those seeds that lie dormant for years suddenly blossom and the entire landscape is breathtaking. Is your organization like this?
Some important questions for each organization or work unit:
- What is the difference in years from your most experienced employee to the next level down? This can be as much as 10 to 15 years and that is a large leadership gap.
- What happens when you have to go away? Who takes charge and why?
- How deep is your leadership pool?
- When was the last time you actually developed a leadership-training program for all of your employees?
- Has your organization invested in an assessment of your “leadership pool” using tools like the Myers Briggs Assessment workshop?
- How is the communication within your organization or unit? If is not so good, why? Don’t forget that 90% of all problems start with poor communication.
- Have you checked out local sources of training for your employees? You might be surprised to find out how many local resources you do have.
- Is there a good succession plan for your organization or unit? Too many organizations do not “walk the talk” until it is too late.
Investing in your organization’s future through developing leaders pays off for both the employee and the organization. Are you ready to take the challenge of watering the desert?