When my mother was a young girl, a well-meaning relative threw her into deep water to teach her to swim. Instead, she nearly drowned. She had a lifelong fear of the water and swimming because of the experience. It was common practice decades ago to throw children in the deep end. They’ll sink or swim, was the theory. Some did swim but many sunk!
It seems like a cruel practice from the dark ages. A couple of generations later and swimming lessons are de rigeur. Kids learn new skills, practice and build their confidence.
I can’t help wondering whether we are making a similar mistake throwing leaders into the metaphorical deep end, expecting them to swim. All too often, brilliant subject matter experts are thrust into leadership with little preparation or development. They are often recognised for their technical problem-solving skills and the assumption is they will therefore be great leaders. All too often though, they are flailing around trying to adjust to the challenge of achieving results through others instead of solving technical problems. A far more enlightened approach is to have a development plan to help move into the deep end of leadership,
In the Forbes Magazine article, The 10 Biggest Business Trends For 2024, futurist Bernard Marr suggests so-called soft skills will be important in 2024. He says, ‘As it becomes increasingly feasible to automate technical aspects of work – coding, research, or data management, for example – the ability to leverage soft skills for tasks that still require a human touch becomes critical.’
Executive coaching can help leaders develop the soft skills they need. The coaching model is effective because people learn through a mixture of theory and practice.
Here are a few reasons to consider a development plan in 2024.
✅ Develop your people skills
✅ Stop being passed over for promotion
✅ Step outside your comfort zone
✅ Learn how to be more strategic
✅ Play a bigger game
✅ Gain perspective on your challenges
🙋 What’s on your development plan in 2024? 🙋♀️
Best regards, Brian