I've been lucky enough to hear Hamel in person recently, & something he said struck a chord... if we can have a series of shared principles in a company touching on the way we interact with colleagues & customers, & potentially even a number of internal training courses on these same principles, why don't we also invest that same time & money in leadership development? Or, even better, as managers why don't we always dedicate ourselves to the concept & invest our own time with our own teams?
We know there are leadership training programs at many large companies, & I've been through my share, but why does it have to be only a select group of people that have this opportunity? Why don't we open leadership training up to all our employees? & I don't mean a class for everyone, but what about an opportunity for everyone?
We all know it's important to identify your backfill in case something happens, but why not put it into practice every day? Why not start with simple things... I'm sure we each have weekly/monthly team meetings, so why not empower a different team member to lead each meeting? Why not have your team members take part in peer performance reviews - especially if team performance is a compensation component? Why not encourage team members to take internal & external classes... but only if they report back what they learn & commit to coaching their colleagues on the material on an on-going basis?
Why not make leadership an iterative, sustainable facet of our teams - potentially creating an iterative, self-fulfilling prophecy of development, success, & performance over time?