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Businesses like to put off spending money on training by questioning, “What if we train them and they leave?”  While the trainers fight back with the sales pitch, ‘What if you don’t train them and they stay?” you get caught in the middle.  It’s not that your boss doesn’t want to invest in you or that you’ll leave if you are trained.  It’s an excuse bosses throw trainers because he or she doesn’t want to waste your time and their money on something that isn’t working.

We hear a litany of complaints about traditional training and development programs.  We can group them into 5 reasons your boss won’t invest in your leadership development:

1.  The content has no relevance to your unique organization or challenges.

2.  There are cute lists of “immutable laws” or “habits” but nobody gives you a practical way to do it.

3.  Training is the same for everyone.

4.  The much-hyped curriculum is generic and gives you no relief for ever-growing ‘To Do List’.

5.  Nothing of value is measured.

Coffee shops are full of people trying to get caught up on generic homework. Until more businesses realize there is an effective way to develop their next generation of leaders, the painful coffee shop experience is likely to continue.

Read more: “Why Your Company Isn’t Training You: The Dirty Little Secret.”

 

Nikki Ellison is a business adviser and master-certified executive coach. She Co-Founded ELEVATE Results and Franchise Success Institute with Andrew Neitlich, Founder of the global Center for Executive Coaching.  Their renowned leadership skill development program, ELEVATE Your Leaders, was recently launched as a licensed program and will soon be operating in 16 states in the U.S. along with locations in Canada and Southeast Asia.   Her firm, Ellison Partners, facilitates ELEVATE Groups in Omaha and offers certification workshops for Leadership Coaches and Executive Coaches.

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

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I’ve just returned from a week in Tampa where we trained 21 new ELEVATE Your Leaders™ licensees and facilitators. They are a dynamic group who are bringing the ELEVATE program to many new communities around the world including 8 of 25 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) in the United States.

This group of experienced executives, business leaders and coaches came from three countries to master the framework that makes ELEVATE effective.

I was humbled by their intellect so you can imagine how shocked I was when the room stilled itself following one comment from ELEVATE Co-Founder and Principal, Andrew Neitlich.

The quote that stopped 21 experienced executives, business owners and coaches in their tracks.

frustrated-businessman

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor and master-certified executive coach.  She co-founded ELEVATE Results and the Franchise Success Institute with Andrew Neitlich, owner of the global Center for Executive Coaching.  Their renowned leadership skill development program, ELEVATE Your Leaders, was recently launched as licensed program and will soon be operating in 15 states in the U.S. along with locations in Canada and Southeast Asia by the end of 2013. Her firm, Ellison Partners, is Omaha’s only provider of the ELEVATE Your Leaders program.

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EinsteinEinstein put it bluntly when he said “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”   The harsh reality is that leadership programs and experiences that delivered today’s leaders will not continue to deliver the next generation of skilled leadership.

Changing business landscapes are requiring new leadership skills.  Subsequently, the gaps between current leadership skills and the new required skills are driving businesses to rethink their leadership development to keep pace.

Key to success will be the alignment between the goals of business, its leadership development programs and the resulting impact on customers.

Businesses are under pressure to ensure leadership is aligned with changing business strategies.  Every day, our clients share with us the problems they face in developing new skills of future leaders in response to the ever-changing external marketplace.  These problems include:

  • A continued struggle to find the leadership skills they need externally despite recent upswing in the stock market and economy.
  • Constantly evolving is the definition of what success looks like for each businesses.
  • Businesses are being forced to develop more leaders from within to manage gaps between future business goals and the skills that will be required to achieve them.

Top talent must be identified, developed and retained. With key skill shortages in the marketplace, many businesses will not be able to buy their way out of their leadership shortages. They will need to build from within. Three key priorities will help businesses succeed today and in the future:Bright ideas

  1. Alignment of business goals with the strategies required to achieve real results.
  2. Identifying the gaps between leadership skills necessary to drive the strategy and what leadership skills are currently available to the business.
  3. Identify those in your organization with the potential to take on a stronger leadership role and dedicate to developing their skills in new, more usable ways.

Recently, Aberdeen Group released a research report on Accelerating Leadership Development. Their research cited the need to find more creative, lower-cost means of developing leaders and called on businesses to rethink their leadership development to keep pace.  “Successful organizations know that the key to ensuring a steady stream of leadership talent is to provide differentiated opportunities to individuals who demonstrate the greatest potential for future organizational impact.” 

Critical thinking is an essential leadership skill but it doesn’t stop there.  The ability to apply critical thinking is equally important.  The harsh reality is that leadership programs and experiences that delivered today’s leaders will not continue to deliver the next generation of skilled leadership. 

The big question is what will you do about it?

 

Read more: Helping your managers use their critical thinking skills.

 

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor and master-certified executive coach.  She co-founded ELEVATE Results and the Franchise Success Institute with Andrew Neitlich, owner of the global Center for Executive Coaching.  Their renowned leadership skill development program, ELEVATE Your Leaders, was recently launched as licensed program and will soon be operating in 16 states in the U.S. along with locations in Canada and Southeast Asia by the end of 2013. Her firm, Ellison Partners, is Omaha’s only provider of the ELEVATE Your Leaders program.

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Join us at the Metro Omaha Women’s

Business Center Forum:

Relationships are our most important currency. We can lose our jobs and we can lose our assets, but if we have a great powerbase, opportunities will come to us and we will recover quickly.

Within our organizations, if we have a strong powerbase, we get things done more easily and more opportunities and ‘hot’ projects come our way.

Join us at the Metro Omaha Business Women’s Center Forum “Success Series: Don’t Believe the Lie – The Glass Ceiling is NOT on Your Head.” We’ll look at your powerbase and how to improve it, so that you develop relationships up, down and across in your organization so that opportunities come your way before they are offered to others.

Identify strategies to move beyond the glass ceiling and improve your relationships, communication and powerbase at work.

We’ll show you a unique way to look at the formal and informal power you deal with every day and share effective ways to harness your influence.

In our presentation, you’ll better understand the importance and value of a strong powerbase and what influence has to do with it:

  • Assess where the power is and how your relationships stack up.
  • Create what your powerbase should like look like based on your vision for your career and your future.
  • Develop concrete steps to improve your powerbase.

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Congratulations to our Spring 2012-2013 leadership program graduates!  They are:

  • www.ellisonpartners.comCarmen Sirizzotti, Director of Strategic Staffing and Compensation at University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Cathy Spicka, Vice President of Accounting at DEI Communities
  • Crystal Thompson, Production Planning Manager Epsen Hillmer Graphics
  • Kari Heunink, Compliance/SBA Officer, Washington County Bank
  • Mike Arkfeld, Vice President of Operations at Titan Medical Group

We are proud of your leadership, your hard work and most of all we are proud of the business results you have achieved.  Read More!

Contact us today for a no-obligation, no pressure conversation about your leadership development needs and whether our program is right for you.  402.884.7300.

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor, master-certified executive coach, and founder of Ellison Partners.  Through effective leadership coaching, proprietary skill acceleration programs and assessments, Ellison Partners helps individuals and business leaders achieve results.

2013 ©Nikki Ellison

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www.ellisonpartners.comBy now, most of us have forgotten our New Year’s resolutions and with good reason.  Most aren’t things we actually do but rather dream about.  The big question is, now that we are nearly a quarter of the year through 2013, how is 2013 shaping up for you? Are you well on your way to accomplishing – not your New Year’s resolutions – but those things that must happen this year for you to proclaim 2013 was a success? If not, what are you doing about it…TODAY?

I tend to focus on what is working and what the next thing is that needs to happen.  We refer to this as our “Keep Doing, Start Doing, Stop Doing List” where we keep doing what works, stop doing what doesn’t and start doing what needs to happen next.  We aren’t alone. Inc.com, in a January blog, cited a recent survey of 40,000 small businesses owners that asked ‘What’s working?’.  The survey found the best ideas boiled down to three key things:

1. Deciding on the right focus. Identifying the best and most profitable customers, and learning to say no to the non-profitable ones.

2. Using new products, services, and technology to increase efficiency and productivity. Some mentioned online payroll; a dentist talked about using an iPad to show his patients close-up pictures of their teeth.

3. Investing in current staff. A number of small business owners talked about training and educating their employees, as well as better communicating with them to make them feel more a part of the company.

I think most small businesses (those with up to $21 million in sales and up to 500 employees) would agree this is a great ‘Keep Doing’ list.  So what’s on the Start Doing and Stop Doing lists?   These two lists outline the steps you’ll take to drive progress.

You don’t need luck to ensure 2013 is your most successful year ever but it won’t be enough to just think “If you build it, they will come.”  Successful people know that ideas, strategy plans, and New Year’s resolutions don’t necessarily get you anywhere.  What will make 2013 successful for you? Action.

Krisztina “Z” Holly, founding executive director of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation and MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological  Innovation and creator of the first TEDx conference was quoted in the March 2013 Leadership Issue of Entrepreneur magazine.  “Big ideas are just that – ideas – until you execute.” she says.  “A lot of company leaders like to talk about thinking outside the box, but there are so many ideas out there already ignored, ironically, because they don’t fit in or are just way too ahead of their time.  What we need to do is figure out what to do with the ideas we already have and make them work.”  By that, she means figuring out how these ideas will make money.

I challenge you to stop the urge to recreate the wheel; to stop the urge to create new ideas when you haven’t executed the great ideas you already have.   Today is about action.  Execute on what you know is working, stop doing what you know is not working and start doing what you need to do next.  These are very simple ways to create action toward executing those things that will make 2013 your best year ever.

What will you act on today? Chew on that one for a bit and I’ll be back with some ideas for your ‘Keep Doing, Stop Doing, Start Doing’ list.

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor, executive coach and founder of Ellison Partners. Through effective leadership coaching, proprietary skill acceleration programs and assessments, Ellison Partners helps businesses and their leaders achieve results.

© Nikki Ellison, 2013.

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Return on Investment, otherwise known as ROI, is calculated on most business investments.  For money invested in training and development programs, ROI is measured by how well the participants apply the newly learned skilled.  Or is it?  Disappointingly few skills are actually implemented on the job and business results achieved as a result of applying those new skills are lacking.  Worse, effective leadership skills are among them.

Asleep at DeskBersin & Associates research found nearly 75% of all leadership teams fail to achieve business goals.  I cannot help but think about the sinking feeling you get when you realize your leadership team didn’t hit their business goals. It’s one we’ve all felt at times but successful leaders understand that to remain competitive they cannot afford to fail in achieving business goals.

The good news is that the Bersin research proves organizations have signficant opportunities to improve their bottom lines by developing leaders with the ability to act on their organizations’ business goals.  In fact, Bersin asserts the business case can be made for effective leadership training by citing research showing that good leaders can double profits.

So what can you do to ensure that your employees apply the skills they learn in training?

It’s really fairly simple when you think about it.  Start measuring the ROI on your training dollars spent.   If you aren’t measuring your ROI on training,  you’re risking ineffective training and employees who miss their business goals when they fail to carry out the skills learned.   I can’t help but wonder why any leader would tolerate this?www.ellisonpartners.com/leap.php

A colleague of mine, Andrew Neitlich, posed a key question to leaders he coaches: “What are you tolerating in your leadership role that is costing your team and organization revenues, profits, productivity, employee morale, and/or customer loyalty?”  Neitlich, Founder and Director of the Center for Executive Coaching, noted that ‘In life as in business, you get what you tolerate’.    He challenges leaders to control what they tolerate and what they don’t and to set the tone by chosing one thing you are going to stop tolerating in your organization and to take action today.

Smart leaders are chosing to stop tolerating another dollar being spent on training programs without a direct way to ensure skills learned are applied on the job and in their companies.  They’re taking action to ensure training ROI is achieved by insisting the training programs they invest in:

  • Show how they support the application of the newly learned skills on the job; and,
  •  Prove the link between the training and improved business outcomes as a result of applying new skills.

Nikki Ellison is a business advisor, executive coach and founder of Ellison Partners. Through effective leadership coaching, proprietary skill acceleration programs and assessments, Ellison Partners helps businesses and their leaders achieve results.

© Nikki Ellison, 2013.

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