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Leadership Development

Developing leaders wisely can offer organisations a considerable return on investment. Self-aware leaders with the skills and capabilities to support, grow, and lead teams can exponentially impact a team, decision, or organisation.


It's no longer necessary that a leader has the technical expertise to get a job done; instead, the opposite is true. Leaders need to be able not to be the ones with all the answers but rather have the capability to lead a group of people with different knowledge, skills, and answers to the best possible solutions given the context and strategic outcomes.


The skills leaders need today are more about being able to operate and make decisions in uncertainty and complexity than being the ones who have all the answers and can solve all the problems.


Leaders need to be okay with not knowing, skilled at listening, and adept at creating spaces for generative problem-solving. It's no longer possible for one person to have all the information and knowledge needed to solve some of the problems we face or to create the solutions we will need in the future. Future leaders must be able to comfortably sit in complexity, ambiguity, and paradox. That is why it's so essential to develop leaders in different ways.


What does that mean, or rather, what does different look like? That is a great question. For me, different is about focusing on growth in various ways. If we consider the human brain as a bucket, it's about different aspects. The first is about making the bucket bigger or growing the size of the bucket, and the second is about filling the bucket with the information needed.


 Transformational learning is about growing the capacity to learn. It's about creating space to hold new and competing perspectives, increased complexity, and improved and nuanced self-awareness. We need to have both kinds of learning available to leaders and cycle between the two. We can't think that a single course is enough; we need to keep balancing the transformational with the new knowledge and skills. That way, as the bucket grows, it can handle increasingly more complex and nuanced information.


Take a moment now to think about your last transformational learning. What was it? Was it a skills-based course or something else? Think about how it impacted your ability to hold and process information and how you see the world or solve problems.


 Maybe you haven't yet experienced that kind of transformation yet.

Reflecting on my own experiences, transformational learning often comes from unexpected sources. It's not always neatly packaged in a course or a formal training program. Sometimes, it's the result of life experiences, challenges that force us to step out of our comfort zones, or conversations that open our minds to new ways of thinking. For me, transformational learning has often involved confronting my limitations and biases, leading to a deeper understanding of myself and how I interact with the world around me. Specific learning programs designed for transformational learning also impacted me in this way.


 Looking at the evolution of leadership from a model of expertise and direct problem-solving to one of facilitation, adaptability, and continuous learning represents a fundamental shift in how we approach challenges and opportunities in the modern world. By fostering a mindset of growth, self-awareness, and the capacity to hold competing perspectives, we equip leaders with the tools necessary to guide their teams through uncertainty and complexity towards innovative and strategic outcomes.


Transformational learning, therefore, is not a mere educational goal but a critical investment in the future of leadership. It demands an ongoing commitment to not just acquiring new knowledge but also expanding one's capacity to learn, adapt, and view challenges through a multifaceted lens. This approach to leadership development ensures that leaders are prepared for today's challenges and adaptable enough to face the unknowns of tomorrow.


The actual return on investment for organisations lies not in the knowledge that leaders accumulate but in their capacity to evolve, inspire, and navigate the complex web of global challenges and opportunities. 

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