Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky to have terrific mentors show me different ways to develop and coach leadership skills. Here are a few of my favorite shared nuggets of wisdom, shared by various people throughout my life.
There are children, all over the United States, who have an unshakeable belief that every December 24th, a rotund, bearded man will enter their homes through a chimney and leave gifts. Later, after seeing overwhelming evidence to the contrary, (including the fact they live in an apartment and have no chimney), they will accept that Santa lives only in our imaginations and will happily go on with their lives. How might we respond to an adult co-worker who continues to hold that unwavering, core belief that Santa is real? Imagine walking into a directors meeting or client pitch with someone who is openly thinking, no, believing, “Well, we could just ask Santa for more revenue.” We could call it Miracle on Fremont Street.
Breaking Bad, better known as the “Best TV Show Ever,” explored the possibilities of someone in an ordinary profession, (School Teacher), with extraordinary knowledge and skill, (Chemistry), to advance a nefarious criminal enterprise (Meth Dealer). Imagine if, instead of being a Chemistry teacher, Walter White was a Director of Learning, with extraordinary skills and knowledge in Performance Management. What would that show look like?
Many organizational leaders struggle to find a balance between training and productivity. There was a time not long ago when many managers thought the best way to teach a new employee was to toss them in the pool and let them learn to swim, only to see them drown in failure.
The companies that invested in training often overtrained,