Wayne Gretzky’s legendary quote about missing 100 percent of the shots you don’t take is only half the story in the world of leadership development. Indeed, there are far too many employees taking the shots, missing them, and then blaming the ice, the hockey stick, and even the goal itself. 

There has to be a better way to transform leaders, right? 

In Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development, Chapter 4 covers this very point. It isn’t enough to give feedback, or even to act on the feedback. We have to get deeper and delve into the competencies of leadership development. 

Setting the Stage for Fluidity

It is hard to imagine that some of the world’s greatest wonders are reduced to their current size by something as simple as water. But water is the easiest way to see fluidity in motion: water continues to keep moving, reshaping even the toughest rock over time. 

We can capture that fluidity for ourselves in the workplace, whether we’re talking about developing entry-level employees or helping mid and senior-level employees bring their best skills to the table. 

A few questions naturally guide this fluid path:

  • What are the milestones along the leadership path, and what do they look like from the perspective of the leader-in-training? 
  • What are the core competencies underpinning those milestones, and what does the leader-in-training excel at already? How can we address the opportunities with dignity, grace, and empathy?
  • How can we monitor and refine the leadership plan in ways that allow for feedback from the party taking the journey in the first place? 
  • Where do we want to go as an organization, and how can we build in buy-in naturally? 

It is easy to observe the underlying theme here: connection, empathy, enthusiasm, and two-way transparency are all part and parcel of the leadership development experience. Getting humans motivated requires truly hearing what they have to say.

Fluidity demands a new way of thinking, but isn’t that the entire point of leadership development? If the old way was the best way, there would never be any need for books on building better leaders at all. 


Giving Ample Time to Refine Competencies

A common trap that many companies fall into when it comes to trying to refine leadership development is that they do not give ample time to fix the very competencies that they need for better leadership.

This can take on many forms, from setting aside the time but not making it accessible all the way up to having an unrealistic deadline for full transformation. 

Incremental change has to be not just defined but celebrated as part of the process in the greater world of leadership development. Companies have to truly invest in their employees, and isn’t time the greatest investment of all? 

Ample time to refine core and stretch competencies isn’t a gift companies are giving employees but an investment that communicates how important the employees are to the greater mission of the company. Nothing moves forward until employees feel encouraged, celebrated, motivated, and given proper time to see exactly where the journey can lead.


All Development Pivots Eventually

Companies with existing leadership development programs will often struggle with the connection between time, strategic intent, core competencies, and leadership as a whole. The intersection of all of these different points is often overwhelming. 

Know this: all development pivots eventually. This is absolutely the case in software development, where early user feedback and even the constraints of the technology itself requires a new direction. 

This is also the case in leadership development. If anything, it is actually more pronounced in the world of leadership development because this is the business of people, who are as varied as the pebbles on a beach. 

Dive Into Competency Refinement With Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development

The assessment of leaders-in-training is only a starting point. In Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development, the connection between competency building and leadership development is not only explored but strengthened through specific actions that not only drive the conversation forward but also empower leaders at every level in the organization. 

Check out the book store and order a copy of Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development today.

To receive a copy of our Leadership Competency Inventory, complete with 64 competencies, just send an email

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