My name is Tim Vane and my partner is JP Hogan and together we own the leadership development company How2LeadUS. Leadership is a word you don’t hear much anymore just like liberty or tyranny. But all of those words have meaning that get at the root of why there’s so much tension in our society and its institutions. They may be archaic words but that doesn’t mean they’re any less profound or important.
We teach leadership development because it seems to be a lost art. Companies are profitable but employees are miserable so over time they leave. Organizations of all kinds strive for efficiency in achieving their goals but often fall short because they end up with internal strife. It seems the more technical we get the more we lose our ability to act together in concert to achieve the results we want. The very things leaders are supposed to do. And it can’t all be blamed on Covid. This trend began way before 2020.
Survey after survey showed that, after a point, workers didn’t want or need more money or more perks to be satisfied with a job. What they want, crave and desire is to be listened to, taken seriously, treated with respect and trusted to do the right thing with autonomy commensurate with their position to make decisions without being second-guessed by MANAGEMENT. That last word is in caps on purpose because institutions have way too many managers and way too few leaders. Don’t believe us? Ask your employees or your staff.
So, what’s the answer? Our collective experience in the military, corporations, contractors and as entrepreneurs gives us, we think, fair standing to comment on what works, what doesn’t work and why (To see our backgrounds, read our biographies in that section of the website). We’ve seen good leadership and we’ve seen bad leadership and have thought and read a lot about what goes into making good leaders and responsive teams. To that end we’ve developed a framework for coaching, teaching and mentoring people and developing anyone who wants to try to be a leader. In order to be a leader, a person doesn’t have to be a genius or naturally charismatic. Anyone can be a leader if they decide they want to be. Leadership can be taught.
That framework is the topic of a future article but for now we want our readers to know why we got into this very crowded space to begin with. It all stems from a desire to pass on what we’ve learned so others don’t have to make the same mistakes we made or saw happen.
That’s why an important part of our framework is using history to illustrate the leadership lesson. Think of history as a lens used to illuminate how people became successful leaders. We often use military history as the microscope to examine a topic, but there are other examples from diplomacy, business and other walks of life that demonstrate how leaders emerged and made decisions under incredible pressure and too little time.
It’s all there in the historical record, but we do more than just teach history and a leader’s place in it. The development process we use becomes concrete to our students because its interactive, immersive and memorable. All of those words describe the tools we’ve found useful over the years to provide training and have it stick. What’s the point of any training if it’s forgotten two weeks after it’s been delivered?
So, if you’re reading this at all it’s because you either want to become a better leader or you want your organization to have better leaders in it. That’s what we want too. Make no mistake, there’s no substitute for good managers, excellent technicians and solid performance on the part of workers irrespective of what their job is.
But it’s also not enough. Not anymore. To succeed in any human endeavor leaders have to emerge in order to achieve success. That can be done. Leaders can be made. The key is to recognize that they have to be developed and nurtured.
That’s our mission and that’s what we want to do. Help you to raise the leadership level of your organization one person at a time.