Learning and leadership development news, articles, blogs, case studies and analysis on employee learning, leadership development and executive management.
 

Mentors speed the application of knowledge and experience. Wisdom is attained bit by bit throughout our lifetime, but it must be pursued.

If you aspire to be a great leader, you need to develop wisdom.

Wisdom is the application of accumulated knowledge and experience. Contrary to what you might think, wisdom has little to do with age. We have all known younger people described as wise beyond their years, and many of us know a few old fools. The truth is, wisdom is attained bit by bit throughout our lifetime, but it must be pursued.

The following practices will accelerate your walk toward wisdom:


 

One-on-one mentoring for leadership development isn’t the only option. Don’t shy away from this lesser used tool.

For leadership development, mentoring has become a proven tool that many organizations have embraced. For some, reverse mentoring — when a younger employee mentors the older, say on new technology — has also become popular.

In either situation, the one-on-one interaction an employee has with their mentor can help change behaviors and increase competencies in multiple leadership areas. But one-on-one mentoring isn’t the only game in town; some say there is another form of mentoring that also provides a solid framework for learning and development.


 

Traditional learning interventions may not move fast enough to close skill gaps. Different types of mentoring offer relational strategies to help employees compete in today’s fast-moving business environment.

Despite a surplus of workers in the market, organizations are experiencing a growing skill gap.

According to a 2009 ASTD study, almost 80 percent of executives from 1,179 organizations agree that there are growing skill gaps in their organizations in eight key areas: leadership and executive skills, basic workplace competencies, professional or industry-specific skills, managerial and supervisory skills, communication and interpersonal skills, technical, IT and systems skills, sales skills, and process and project management skills.


 

Are social rejects more innovative? A recent study shows that social rejection may not have purely negative implications.

Don’t neglect the social rejects in the organization — those individuals nobody chooses to work with. They may be essential drivers of innovation.

In fact, social rejection can actually boost creativity, according to an October 2012 study by researchers from Cornell and Johns Hopkins universities. Those with a greater sense of independent self-concept feel a sense of uniqueness when they experience social rejection, in turn bolstering their creative output, said Jack A. Goncalo, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Cornell.


 

Bosses who teach skills and habits to employees drive higher individual productivity and elevate team performance.

There’s an old saying that those who can, do and those who can’t, teach. But in business, as it turns out, those bosses who can, in terms of generating higher productivity, are in fact teachers.

According to a study by economics researchers from Stanford and the University of Utah, replacing a low-performing boss with a high-performing one boosts productivity by 12 percent, which is better than adding a 10th worker to a nine-person team. The researchers call it the “boss effect,” and they identified it by examining the productivity of workers who change bosses.


 

Securing manager commitment to learning can be challenging, especially in uncertain times. However, gaining buy-in and delivering effective manager learning is a critical step in ensuring peak organizational performance.