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Yes, effective sponsorship is the most critical element of success to any initiative. Yes, ineffective sponsorship is a critical element in the failure of any initiative. Every research study and every article written on leadership’s influence over times of change conclude that leadership is the number one success factor or failure point for any organizational initiative. With this in mind, most organizations do not assess the skills of their leadership nor do they build leadership’s competencies in vital areas needed for success. Organizations must assume that leaders have the skills they need to make an initiative a success based in their title and level within the Visio chart hierarchy. I have spoken with many executive of organizations, in various different industries, and one thing that they have in common is that they are all willing to take on an initiative or sponsor a change even if they lack the skill set and experience to do so effectively. They have the gusto and take charge attitude that has brought them to where they are in their careers, but this can actually be a double-edged sword to a project. Much like a cashier at a fast food chain throwing his/her hat in the ring to be the head chef at a fine dining establishment, lack of training and experience of our organizational leaders can lead to sour tastes in people’s mouths. The question that we face is:
“Why are the skills assessment and development of organizational leadership such grossly overlooked necessities for organizational success?”
I believe the answer to this question vanishes under the table in corporate meeting rooms as a result of companies not knowing who should assess and provide recommendations on the skills sets and experience of their leadership. There also exists the concern that leadership will not be open and honest about the skills and experience they need to make the organization successful.
It is important that there is accurate assessment of leadership skills in an organization and action plans to help build the required skills to include training, coaching, mentoring, or self-guided learning. In my conversations with executives, they have been very open about the skills they are lacking and their eagerness to build on those skills. I don’t believe they would have been as forthcoming with people inside of their own organization. To address this need, many organizations have successfully developed and deployed a leadership training and development program to help the organization be positioned for growth and sustainability. Now it is time for the hard and self-reflective question. Knowing the importance of leadership skills to organizational success, what solution does your organization have in place to identify and shape your leadership competencies in an effort to reduce project failures while increasing the probability of reaching project objectives and realizing expected project benefits?
Dustin Jackson, M.Ed., is a Consulting Manager who is a highly accomplished business management consultant with 8 years of experience within many different levels of organizations. Dustin’s expertise and passion is in areas of change management, organizational readiness, communications, and training. To find out more about how MSS can help your organization in change management, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cite this blog post:
MLA: Jackson, Dustin. “Leadership’s Current Skills and Experience May Not be Enough” MSS. MSS. Blog. 08 April 2015.
APA: D Jackson (2014, Nov 18). Leadership’s Current Skills and Experience May Not be Enough