Why I Love Leadership Development

Valentine’s Day is here, and love is in the air! Due to these amorous circumstances, I thought I’d do a post about why I love Leadership Development. The answer might sound a little corny, but here it is: I love Leadership Development because while the focus is improving leadership skills to bolster business results, it invariably improves the personal lives of our clients as a byproduct.

Let’s take a simple example. Imagine that you learn in a leadership development program, perhaps through a 360 degree feedback tool, that you could improve your active listening. It’s hard to imagine better active listening skills not improving your relationships at home as well, right? We are who we are at home and at work. By improving in one, we improve the other. Similarly, trouble in one area tends to reflect trouble in the other, and while many people try to separate the two, we know that it’s easier said than done. People think they turn off the “home self” when they get to work and vice versa when they get home. That might work in the short term, but in the long term, there is “spillover” from one to the other. The good news is, the spillover can be positive – hence, my love of leadership development!

As a more specific example, take a new leader I’m working with who is working on being more patient and empathetic with his colleagues and direct reports. As an individual contributor, his passion and intensity were always praised as work ethic and drive. However, he was unaware of the impact of his demeanor on people around him until he began a leadership development program. His downfall was his impatience and lack of understanding toward others, and it was detrimental to his work relationships and the effectiveness of his team. Now that he is focused on changing his behavior to demonstrate more awareness of others, not only has it had a huge impact on relationships within his team, but it has improved his relationship with his wife as well. She has actually commented on the positive change!

If you cannot tell, I truly love my work. Between helping people with transformations in their work style to witnessing the “Aha!” moments that change people’s lives, leadership development is rewarding work to say the least. This Valentine’s Day, as I escape from the snowy mess that has enveloped Atlanta this week, I am feeling grateful for a job that I love.

I would love to know, have you learned something through leadership development that has changed your life for the better?

Written by: Dr. Liz Roling

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