In order to learn leadership, there are three things we need. We need a coach to show us how to improve, a process to follow, and some data to know if we are making progress. The trouble is that in the process of learning to be leaders we rarely get all of these.
Think about learning to play hockey.
- You get a coach (have you ever heard of a hockey team without a coach).
- You get process (where to position yourself, how to move, what to do in each situation.)
- And you get some data (minutes played,plus/minus, shots,penalties, goals.)
Now think about business and the process of leadership and we’re lucky to get any of these.
- Two thirds of bosses are lousy so you won’t get much coaching there.
- You get very little in terms of personal processes such as how to communicate, motivate, delegate, set a vision etc.
- And you don’t get metrics to be able to judge how you’re doing as a leader.
Fundamentally we need to reinvent how we learn leadership to ensure that we get good coaching, useful process and relevant metrics.
Bill Gates said it perfectly with regard to teachers in this recent TED Talk.