There is a problem with professional development for executives. Much of it is learned by the seat of their pants.
Growing professionally will happen in three ways:
- The Individual Takes Charge – A self motivated leader steps up and develops their own executive learning and development plan. They take responsibility and exercise the discipline to see it through.
- The Organization Mandates Growth – There is a clear path of expected growth and development generally tied to the desired outcomes of the organization.
- The Individual Learns by the Seat of Their Pants – The leader does what needs doing, is generally swamped by responsibilities and projects. They pick up what they can when they need it. Learning occurs by dealing with fires and scrambling to assemble what’s needed for daily leadership.
Obviously the first two are more desirable. They will most surely be supplemented by the reality of number three. The vital questions are:
- Have you taken the initiative to develop your own learning and development plan?
- Have you as an organization understood and invested in the real growth of your people?
- Do you need to change something before your pants catch fire?
Everyone benefits from leaders and executives who are deliberate about growing and improving on the contribution they make. Please, don’t let this problem with professional development for executives be yours.