How Great Companies Invest in True Leadership

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Great companies understand how to invest in true leadership. Does yours?

Here are some ways that you can invest in your own career, and add value to your organization, when you consider what great companies do to promote true leadership.

When it comes time to tell your story – in other words, how to establish your contribution as a leader – you’ve got to understand what great companies need (and expect) if you want to move your career forward.

Here’s my take on creating an authentic and compelling approach to your career, with a focus on the value of your personal leadership:

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For Cisco, the core value of effective communication is important to the company’s overall goals. Many executives within the company have a “Communication Coach” – someone who focuses on making the message (and the delivery) as strong as possible. If you want to know what great companies do to promote true leadership, consider the following:

  • Great Companies Invest in Communication: Statistics tell us that 80%+ of all business issues are communication issues. Have you ever experienced some major catastrophe, due to a minor misunderstanding? Leadership begins with your story. If you can’t convey your value in a way that’s authentic (and not bragadocious), how can others follow your ideas? If who you are gets in the way of what you’re saying, you’ve got a real leadership issue.
  • Great Companies Invest in Training and Education – just as business is a process, so too is effective communication. In my coaching work with clients around the world, I see that effective leadership starts with effective communication. The nature of training and education has changed – and, when it comes to communication skills, the best training is the most personalized. Academic curriculums are great for learning a task, but connecting with an audience in new and more powerful ways requires a “One size fits none” approach.

Customized coaching is the secret to accelerated results.

Think about it: Are your leadership issues the same as Sarah’s, or Rohit’s, or Larry’s? Individual coaching is the fastest and most effective path to accelerated results.

Isn’t it curious that professional sports teams spend 90% of their time practicing, yet the actual games make up less than 10% of the overall season? Think of your favorite professional football team: the ratio of coaches to players is less than 3:1. Elite millionaire athletes, at the top of their careers, are surrounded by coaches. Why? Because these folks want to win, plain and simple.

Great companies understand that leadership takes practice and coaching. Does yours?

Most importantly, leadership training is most effective when it considers (and responds) to individual variables.

Not Leadership.

The test of leadership isn’t administered via multiple choice – that test comes when leadership changes from a concept, to a verb. Leadership happens in action – and those actions must be trained and cultivated for all true leaders.

Within your organization are many leaders. Not all leaders have a big title, or a big office. But all leaders have vision. A leadership vision that challenges the status quo. Beyond the conceptual and abstract aspects of leadership, there’s a real message that starts with your story.

How are you investing in your career, and how is your company providing you with the leadership tools you need to achieve success?

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