Leadership Development: Investing in Your Team

The list of potential ways a healthcare organization can invest in their company is long and grows every day. From upgrading office and medical equipment to expanding marketing campaigns and employee benefits to upgraded facilities, each proposed product, service, or improvement does indeed have value and merit. The executive leadership team faces the continual task of prioritizing and choosing those opportunities with the best ROI for the organization. A tall task to be sure.

But if the organization is not investing in its own leadership team’s development and in team-building within the existing workforce, they are choosing to handicap the company’s future long-term growth and prosperity.

When executed via an effective method, one of the best investments any company can make is to invest in the men and women within their organization. And therein lies the reason many cite for not actively pursuing leadership development. Too many questions begging for answers. How do we know which programs to choose? How can results be measured? How can we gauge the actual ROI if there is one?

Gauging results can be challenging, and not every approach works, especially those that are wrapped in the guise of “training.” Why? Because training offers an indoctrinated, one-size-fits-all approach that is both one-dimensional and authoritative. It teaches the right way to do something with a focus on best practices of the past rather than looking forward to future needs.

Leadership development, on the other hand, takes an entirely different approach, building skills over time in hands-on moments rather than in a classroom setting via a boring lecture.

The CEO Institute suggests that leaders be coached and mentored rather than trained. In fact, they go so far as to insist that traditional leadership “training” be disposed of in favor of leadership development. They share these 15 differences between leadership training and leadership development:

1. Training keeps to the status quo, while development aims for something further.

2. Development is more people-focused.

3. Development focuses on the future, while training is fixed on the past.

4. Development is always more interested in developing potential.

5. Training depends on transactions whereas development focuses on transformations.

6. Development is growth-based.

7. Development is more interested in the person than the role.

8. Development tries to educate whereas training tries to indoctrinate.

9. Development leads culture; it does not try to stifle it.

10. Development encourages performance over compliance.

11. Training is more focused on efficiency than effectiveness. 

12. Training is problem-based while development is solution-based.

13. Development relies more on intellect than does training.

14. Development explores the unknown while training relies on what is known.

15. Development is ongoing while training is finite.

An added bonus of investing in effective leadership development is found in how it impacts succession planning. The type of mentoring and coaching that leadership development utilizes in its ongoing processes will mesh perfectly with effective succession planning strategies. Development and succession can happily co-exist, benefiting the organization’s present and future at the same time.

LeaderStat’s Executive Search Consultant Sara Acocks challenges those in leadership to take a proactive stance. “We must take a critical look inward and ask ourselves what our responsibility is in the current alarming retention rates we are seeing. Have we put in the work to really understand, honor, and develop the unique talents and passions among our teams?”

Taking the time to invest in your team will not only help your organization retain top performers but can also create a talent pipeline in succession planning.


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LeaderStat specializes in direct care staff, interim leadership, executive recruitment, travel nursing and consulting for healthcare organizations nationwide.