by Jacek ‘Skyski’Skrzypczynski
Our 25-year experience in the field shows clearly that the key to growing leaders is not passing knowledge but inspiring and supporting them in continuous learning. We see ourselves as igniters of a strong will in leaders to become truly responsible for their growth and supporters of their leadership journey. Knowledge is clearly useful, but it quickly becomes outdated and organizations simplydo not have enough time to train their people in everything that is needed. The people must gather knowledge themselves and use it as best as they can, including sharing it with others.
What is called for then is character development, team development and communication. Character can be strengthened by real experiences and that is why we use Experiential and Action Learning – challenging leaders’ assumptions and comfort zones so they overcome internal barriers, learn to thrive on change and become true engines of progress for their organizations.
Business results cannot be generated by individuals working on their own. That is why we put stress on developing leaders in cross-organizational teams that support each member and are able to change the way things are done. In our process, leaders will focus on values, principles, vision and strategy that are a foundation for organizational stability and growth – building commitment of employees and clients. As P. Drucker says “the biggest value is not in creating strategies, it is in the learning while working together continuously on reviewing strategies.”
None of the above can happen without trustful and open communication. Working with leaders, we focus on Emotional Intelligence that helps them understand their own and others’ emotions and use them in most beneficial ways as well as communication skills that make this possible. We look into empowering communication not only in individual contacts but also in whole teams and organizations. We implement systems to make communication positive, systematic and systemic.
Our trainers, coaches and consultants are normally not lecturers, presenters or motivational speakers. They are powerful facilitators of individual and group learning and coaches that ask powerful questions making people really think – evoking real change in organizations. They are not afraid to take risks, open up and learn themselves during the process – modeling how participants can be, lead and succeed.
Our work with leaders is based on a leadership model developed by your organization or created together with us. The model includes most important leadership competencies for an organization and their connection to company’s vision and values. A broad spectrum of diagnostic tools allows us to look at competencies of leaders and their progress in learning. Reports from diagnosis are very useful in planning further development of leaders, succession schedules and strategic changes in your organization.
As organizational consultants we look at the whole organization, making sure it supports its leaders. We will propose and prepare systems of feedback and feedforward that affect not just leaders themselves but also people around them – creating a leadership coaching culture within the organization that can support and sustain personal and financial growth. By sharing insights and ideas for improvement in a simple but effective system, everyone can improve and become inspired to develop further.
Further points about our methods
1. Balance between working on individual and team capabilities.
Working on team capabilities aims to form a special team of leaders to: help them share experiences; support each other in development; create a powerful, opportunity-oriented group in the firm; as well as teach them how to develop their own teams. Having a supportive environment in the organization will definitely help leaders master individual capabilities and skills.
2. Various methods of training, coaching and delivery.
We will make sure there is a great variety of contents, styles and activities during the program. To achieve this we will involve several trainers/coaches for each program, specializing in different fields as well as special guests and projects. These can include people and projects from all fields that can be useful for leaders, for example mini-programs on Centered Leadership based on Aikido, Peak Performance, Vision Quest, Active Corporate Social Responsibility projects and more.
3. Company traditions and team rituals
The key to developing effective habits lies in creating and using leadership traditions and rituals consistently, if not relentlessly. All companies have some traditions and customs that we will use on the program to develop and strengthen important leadership habits. We will also inspire the team of leaders to create their own rituals and leadership language that will support them in keeping the habits they develop on the course and in leading their own teams.