Time to Grab the Baton – Part 1
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Several years ago while attending a training at a Maxwell recertification event in Orlando, we were sent to a room where several sections of the Orlando Symphony Orchestra were waiting. Each musician had their instrument in hand and an extra chair next to them. We were each asked to take one of the open seats. The conductor then raised his baton and began to conduct the orchestra. After concluding the first movement of the musical composition, our training began. The conductor slowly introduced us to each section of the orchestra. We listened as each musician played their individual parts. Some resembled the melody lines from the movement we had just heard, and others were clearly harmony meant to enhance the musical experience. So, what does this have to do with leadership?

As I write this post, we are in the middle of the summer. Things seem to be a bit quieter, and many are taking needed vacations. As a leader, you need to be thinking about the future for your team and how you will compose a masterpiece and then grab the baton and conduct that masterpiece. A masterpiece of growth and development that will allow your organization to adapt and grow in an ever-changing world. This approach will need to be collective and yet very individualized based on the giftedness of each team member. Below are three steps that can help you develop your masterpiece.

  1. Start by learning together. Identify skills and knowledge that your entire team needs to learn and set a schedule where you meet once a month. Take advantage of the many ways you can do this, such as book studies, podcasts, or online training that you can do as a group. The key is that everyone is learning the same topic. Leverage the power of the Mastermind where each person is sharing what speaks to them the most and why. Often this is done in a “lunch and learn” format since everyone needs to eat. As a leader, make sure you make this a priority. If you make it a priority, your team will also.

  2. Project-based learning is a great way to build cohesive teams. Identify projects that can stretch your team. As they learn new skills together, relationships are formed. As they interact with each other one-on-one, they begin to understand and appreciate each other’s strengths and perspectives. There will be times of tension and conflict, but that’s all part of learning.

  3. Lastly, let’s look at specialized learning. These are the conferences, workshops, and seminars that your team members attend. These are very specific to your team members’ individual growth plans. One of the problems with this type of training is that the team members come back from the training with pages of notes that they may never review again. They aren’t intentionally ignoring their notes; it’s just that life got in the way. Your solution to this problem is to ask anyone who attends specialized training to give a short teaching on what they learned. This allows everyone else to have some exposure to the topic and dramatically improves retention of the material for the person tasked with teaching it.

So there you have it. You are setting the table for something amazing. If you would like to hear more on this topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 215 of The Next Page podcast. We will discuss tips and tricks to help you set the stage for your masterpiece. Join us next week when we get to pick up the baton.

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