The development of your organization’s leaders has been a hallmark of our success for more than twenty-six years. In an article in the July 2014 issue of “Training + Development” entitled, “The Key to Success in a VUCA World”, the authors affirm what we have known for a long time. The best leaders are highly skilled teachers and coaches. As leaders are being confronted by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA), they must be able to innovatively adapt to ever-changing business contexts. Today’s leader must now be more personable and communicative with learning and development teams in order to bring every organizational level closer together. By following the examples set by successfully adaptive companies, such as Merck and Boeing, leaders can find new ways to create continuous learning environments in which everyone can feel like both a leader and a teacher. The leaders-as-teachers (LAT) approach has proven itself worthy by those successful organizations, efficiently leveraging organizational energy, understanding organization-specific culture, and building momentum through partnership and collaboration.
As stated in the article, “Leader-teachers working in partnership with learning and development teams can close the gap in the air sandwich by strengthening organizational alignment, building trust in leaders’ decision-making abilities, and supporting individual and organizational growth.” Leader-teachers must utilize traditionally unconventional methods of connecting with participants. It’s important that they use humility and make themselves vulnerable by engaging in open-forum sessions in which they can personalize lessons with relatable material. Additionally, the use of webinars and other online formats can become an effective tool in instilling traditional leading methods through a more advanced, current medium. By utilizing these capabilities, the next generation of leaders can emerge, allowing for organizations to keep thriving and adapting to change. Dering helps organizations in this pursuit. From presentation skills training to the coaching of coaches, and even full-blown train-the-teacher sessions, we can help prepare associates for a LAT approach.