Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019 - 13

PERFORMANCE MATTERS
JULIE WINKLE GIULIONI

LEARNING LEADER DEVELOPMENT:
COMBATTING THE SHOEMAKER'S
CHILDREN SYNDROME

The fast-changing business landscape is a
topic of unending conversation. We know
all too well that customer expectations
are consistently increasing and shifting.
Competitors and disruptions continue to
emerge from unexpected sources and in
unanticipated forms. Choices and options
have never been more plentiful. At the
same time, customers have never been
more fickle or less loyal. Cycle times keep
shrinking as everyone is challenged to do
more with less. And we operate globally,
24/7 with the most diverse workforce
in history.
It's no wonder that the environment
within which we work is frequently
characterized with adjectives like fastpaced, complex, turbulent, volatile,
unpredictable, ambiguous and uncertain.
It's also no wonder that it's becoming
increasingly necessary for leaders to adapt
their approaches to this ever-changing
environment (Table 1).

Table 1.
Leadership: Then and Now
Then

Now

Exercising power and
authority

Exercising influence

Directing and
administering

Inspiring and engaging

Operating through
hierarchies

Operating through fluid
networks

Using command and
control tactics

Collaborating

Developing deliberate
strategies

Sharing ownership for
dynamic plans

Dictating the process

Fostering involvement
and innovation

Highlighting similarities

Identifying and
leveraging differences

Team building

Community and value
building

Learning and development (L&D)
professionals tend to have a clear
understanding of the shifting role of
leaders today as they address relevant
needs, requirements and skill gaps in the
leadership development solutions they
develop and deploy.
But what about the development of
prospective learning leaders? Too
frequently, the shoemaker's children don't
enjoy the benefits and experiences afforded
to those in literally every other department
within the organization. People aspiring to
assume leadership roles in the L&D arena
need the same capabilities as those in
other functions. And since neither hope nor
osmosis are research-based instructional
strategies, something more is required for
this frequently forgotten population.
The good news is that much of what
truly effective L&D professionals already
routinely do prepares them well for
leadership. After all, they spend their days
focusing on how to help others develop and
grow. They are intentional about the way
in which they communicate. And without
legitimate authority over participants,
they engage and inspire others to change
through influence and collaboration.
Yet, just as we wouldn't allow the
technical skills unique to other functions
to substitute for legitimate leadership
development, we shouldn't allow it for L&D.
Instead, a conscious and deliberate process
is required to ensure that those who
ultimately become responsible for L&D are
properly prepared to assume the leadership
role. Cost-effective, reality-based strategies
that are actually possible within the fastpaced, volatile and uncertain environment
within which these professionals operate
include the following.
Exposure and breadth: Effective learning
leaders see the big picture. They have a

deep appreciation for the broader business
context. They empathize with those who
toil away inventing, generating, selling and
supporting the products and/or services
that drive revenue and success. But this
awareness rarely comes by chance or
intuition. It's a result of direct exposure.
Shadowing those outside of L&D, and taking
on new topical areas for development
can offer the breadth required of effective
learning leaders.
Self-assessment and reflection: Those
aspiring to leadership in a training
department are likely exposed to volumes
of relevant content. They might even
facilitate or develop leadership courses
themselves. And yet, teaching is not the
same as learning. L&D professionals in
this position can still leverage this content
and internalize it by consciously observing
their behavior and asking themselves: "Am
I practicing what I'm preaching?" They can
gather feedback from others, and actually
do the exercises they assign.
Lead things before people: In many cases,
leading collaborative efforts and initiatives
mimics leading people. As a result,
intentionally selected action learning
experiences can provide invaluable
opportunities to develop leadership
capacity. A cross-functional training project.
An LMS RFP team. A merger integration
effort. These offer an opportunity to test
and build leadership skills around vision,
engagement, and collaboration.
As the nature of leadership continues
to shift within organizations, the role
of the learning leader only becomes
more critical. And so does their leadership
development.
Julie Winkle Giulioni has 25 years of experience
working with organizations worldwide to
improve performance through learning. Email
Julie.

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTRY MA GAZ INE - THE ROLE OF L+D IN SUCCESSION PLANNING 20 19 I WWW. T RAININGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20190102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20181112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20180102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20170304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20171112_se
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016sales
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2016winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015outsourcing
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015leadership
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2011winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2009winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/trainingindustry/tiq_2008spring
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