Leadership development. It happens in many ways. Fundamentally, it happens from on-the-job learning, leaning into the challenges we face every day as leaders and asking ourselves continuously: How did that go? How could I have been even more effective? Leadership development also takes the form of formal and informal learning. Programs abound for developing leaders. The most common model is threefold sessions: developing oneself, developing the team, and developing the organizations. In these formats, leaders learn specific skills, practices, and how-to’s for leading in a myriad of interactions across the organization. And of course, there are articles, books and blogs written on various leadership topics.
All are viable means for developing one’s leadership skills. But, what about the experienced leader? The individual with ten or more years of experience leading others, who has been “trained” but might want to consider their leadership brand in a new way? Leadership roundtables address this need. A group of ten to 12 leaders come together over the course of a year to learn from each other. In the three or so hours they spend together, they invite themselves to pause from the day-to-day leadership chaos and reflect on what they know and what they could try in out-of-the ordinary situations. They learn from each other, from individuals who have tried and failed, or from individuals who are in different kinds of organizations yet have similar leadership challenges.
As a facilitator of over a dozen roundtables in the past 10 years, I can tell you from personal experience why they are effective. We don’t focus on teaching specific skills. Instead, we do spend time reflecting together on what we know, and how we can apply what we know to new and unusual situations. We leverage the collective wisdom and experiences of the participants to gain further insights into our own situations. We create long-term and lasting connections, a true go-to network of leaders in similar roles in different organizations that can be called upon as a sounding board when faced with difficult challenges.
I’m delighted that The Bailey Group recently introduced the first-of-its-kind non-profit leadership development roundtable. It enhances our steadfast commitment to leaders in a learning environment most haven’t experienced before. You can learn more about the program here. I hope you’ll consider joining us.