leadership & management

Secrets of Success: Sheep or Apprentices?

What is the secret of success? Right decision. How do you make right decision? Experience. How do you get experience? Wrong decision.

For me, this summed up developing as a manager and leader in one image. And yet systems are always looking for the quick fix: train them! Pour the information into their head (preferably in as little time possible) and voila – out comes a manager. To be fair it isn’t only management that suffers the urge to sheep dip (or sheet dip – whatever you fancy). I wonder where this fallacy grows from. Imagine taking your 10 year old son and telling him you’re sending him off to a one week training course to learn how to be an adult. You know in your heart and your gut that won’t work, and yet this same approach is requested time and time again in the corporate environment. I find myself pulled more and more to apprenticeship models for learning fields that have many shades of grey.

Have we grown too impatient to grow our future managers and leaders? Can communities still raise them, just as they used to raise children?