For the past two days, I have blogged about what ingredients are needed in the leadership development process. Following a great conference (event), what must be part of the follow-up if you plan to sustain the momentum you gained at the event? I shared the first 3 essentials yesterday. Here are the others:
4. Real-Time Modeling
A good process always includes a leader within the community who incarnates the principle being discussed. Because people do what people see, the conversation gains traction because a leader is providing a living example, not merely words. As the saying goes, actions always speak louder.
5. Action Steps
At some point in the process, a leader should challenge the community with a real-life assignment. People must have the opportunity to practice the truth they are learning. Many students today are primarily kinesthetic learners, and require activity in their growth process.
6. Measured Assessment
It has been said that experience is the best teacher. I believe evaluated experience is the best teacher, because folks can easily have a bad experience and draw the wrong conclusion. Students need adults to help them process successes and failures, and draw the right life application. A process should include a time of evaluation of each student’s growth.
7. Time Elapse
A process cannot take place overnight, any more than a mom or dad can parent a child overnight. Learning requires time to pass, and ideas to be digested. Most plants and animals do not grow up in a day or two. Neither do leaders. They are grown in crockpots, not microwave ovens.
I suggest that you never plan an event unless you also plan a process to follow that event. When I visit a campus and teach leadership, our team works with the host to plan that process. When students are placed in mentoring groups for a semester, they begin to apply leadership principles to their life. The event gains traction. The groups provide accountability, support and a laboratory to practice leadership skills with one another. Someone once said: “You can usually do less than you think you can in one week, but more than you think you can in one year.” I believe the same is true about events and process. Never underestimate the power of the process. They lead to healthy growth. You might say they’re like eating several good meals… along with some cotton candy.
How have you practiced this “process” where you are?