It's estimated that, globally, we've spent over $50 billion a year in leadership development. That just amazes me that we're spending that much money on leadership development, but it doesn't surprise me.
I am very passionate about leadership development. I think that passion started way back when I first started my first career. The gentleman that I worked for said, "Sarah, somebody who is a professional keeps track of what they're doing and learning and how they're growing. They actually might just start a folder and keep track of that kind of stuff. You should do that." I started that folder, and when I left that position, I went to my next position, I really paid attention to, "What are those other leaders doing?" One of the really thought-provoking things that I ran across is that leadership doesn't happen in a vacuum. Which seems to indicate that leadership development does not occur in a vacuum either. We have impacted our personal and professional growth through interactions.
A lot of times when we're thinking about leadership development, we're thinking about developing the leader. When reality is, we should be thinking about developing the followers, developing the leader, and developing the culture in which the three of them are interacting because the reality is, is that developing the leader in isolation doesn't really help them grow. They grow when they're interacting with the followers, and they're interacting with the culture. The other piece that's very important is to make sure that you're developing your culture and making your culture healthy because the culture in which your people are residing, whether they're leaders or followers, has an impact on how they grow and how they develop.
If you want a challenge for this week, go back to your organization, walk the halls, listen to how people are interacting with each other, listen to how they're treating each other. It's going to give you an excellent indication if you have a healthy culture or you have a culture that needs some work. Then once you've done that and you've understood what your culture's like, then pay attention to the interactions that people are having and understand, are your followers growing just as much as the people who you're trying to develop as leaders?
Because if you can raise the level both your followers and your leaders, and you have a healthy culture, there's a good chance that you are going to start developing even more leaders and having more people raise their hand because as the followers are growing and developing, they're becoming leaders.