The Leadership Learning Log is a journal which evidences learning and skills development. It is not just a diary or record of ‘what you have done’, but more to the point it is a record of what you have learnt, tried and critically reflected upon.
I use the Leadership Learning Log in my Coaching Master Class (CMC) programme as a tool to follow up the training. I call this ‘Activity 1: Looking Back’. At the end the training I challenge participants to run up to five substantial pre-planned coaching sessions over the following six week period. I ask them to select two of these sessions for self-assessment – the ‘Best’ and the ‘Most Challenging’ – and answer the questions in the Leadership Learning Log for each session. This is their preparation for our first on-to-one coach-the-coach session.
For this article we go back to my friend Allen Tu in Shanghai. Allen is KCGFF Sales Team Leader for Maersk (China) Shipping Co and he attended my Coaching Master Class (CMMC) programme in 2011. Using my material he kicked off his ‘Buddy’ Coaching programme in 2016 for his direct report sales managers. One of those managers is Jerry Chen who is the senior manager focussing on Electronic key clients. And Jennifer Yao is an account manager reporting in to Jerry.
In this first article about their coaching experience, we look at how Jerry used the Leadership Learning Log self-assessment questions to reflect on his ‘Most Challenging’ coaching session with Jennifer.
It focusses on the results of a survey carried out amongst senior decision makers working for small businesses in the UK and contains the usual plethora of damming statistics and hyperbole about the lack of management development available and the quality of that which is.
Of those surveyed 87% thought employers should be doing more to develop management and leadership skill, 91% thought schools and universities should do a better job preparing students for leadership roles and only 3% thought that UK companies had world leading managers.
Add to this the oft quoted $14 billion that our cousins in the US spend on leadership development each year and it’s a wonder anyone who works in L&D ever gets through a performance appraisal!
And yet, if you asked those same senior decision makers what were the most critical roles in their organisations, the ones absolutely vital to its success, what would they say – and could they support the statement with evidence?
My guess is they could not. In fact, I’d suggest that most organisations, large and small, are in a similar situation. Do they have an opinion? I’m sure they do. Do they have any data to support it? That remains to be seen.
So, to the 87% who think employers should be doing more to develop management and leadership skill, I commend your altruism. I also wonder if you invest money in an equally haphazard way when paying to develop other key resources and infrastructure.
We need to stop banging this particular drum and create a more focussed approach to development – and that approach starts not with the people but the organisation.
Learning leaders everywhere need to help their organisations be more measured and strategic in their approach to development. Here are five steps to get you underway.
Allen Tu is KCGFF Sales Team Leader for Maersk (China) Shipping Co. Allen attended my Coaching Master Class programme in Shanghai in 2011. Using my material he kicked off his ‘Buddy’ coaching programme in 2016 for his direct report sales managers. He regularly keeps me in touch with their progress. Allen gave Samson feedback how pleased he was to see Eileen’s business performance improvement in Quarter 4 2017, which he believes relates to Samson’s participation in the ‘Buddy’ programme. He asked Samson to share his recent coaching story as an inspiration for others. Samson is showing really professional attention to detail and thoughtfulness as a coach. And as you will see from the end of the interview below, the story has a very happy ending. Congratulations to both Samson and to Eileen.