Experienced specialists who are thinking about coming on the K-LEADER program commonly have a critical question that is in their minds: what would this program teach me that would be worth the investment in time?
I think the best way to answer this question is to let the K-LEADER participants do this by themselves. Here are the top four personal growth activities that the (first 300) participants decided to work on as a consequence of attending the program.
Personal Growth activity #1: TEAMING
Every technical specialist is involved in various teams in their workplace. Often they are on many teams, many of these virtual. K-LEADER takes a look at the stages teams go through as they form and work together, and what elements are required to create an effective and sustainable team. As a consequence of discussing these topics, many K-LEADERS return to their workplace determined to improve team dynamics and culture (even if they are not the formal leaders of the team this is quite possible).
49 per cent of all participants chose this topic as one of their three “action areas”.
Personal Growth Activity #2: STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT
As high value individual contributors, most specialists have a large array of stakeholders. A large challenge in their role is to balance and prioritise conflicting requests, building closer relationships that are more effective and balanced. That also includes nurturing relationships with removed stakeholders – often senior people in the organisation – so that the specialists’ influence can be more strategic and proactive rather than just tactical and reactive.
The K-LEADER program spends a great deal of time helping participants define who their most important stakeholders are, and on developing and then practicing a wide range of influencing strategies to build these relationships.
46 per cent of all participants chose this topic as one of their key “action areas”.
Personal Growth Activity #3: PERSONAL BRAND
How often do you stop and think about your personal brand? Have you ever really acknowledged that you actually have one? Have you considered how personal brands get forged, and how easy/difficult it is to change them?
Let’s get the statistic out there straight away: 44 per cent of all participants chose to work on their personal brand when they get back to the workplace.
Why is this? Because (a) generally they think their existing personal brand could be improved and (b) they have a clear idea of what they desire it to be, and the K-LEADER program gives them tools and techniques to be able to positively effect their personal brand.
Personal Growth Activity #4: EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
One of the things that participants quickly learn in K-LEADER is that it is a complete fallacy to believe that because we are very smart technically, this means we are likely to be less smart emotionally (those dreaded “soft skills”).
The truth is that people leaders have been getting training on the soft skills for years, while technical experts have been getting only technical training. Emotional intelligence can be learned in just the same way programming can. Plus – hold the front page – there isn’t just one emotional intelligence, there are six of them, and the data shows that most of us are naturally good at least one or two, even if we haven’t mastered them all.
K-LEADER takes every participant through a detailed explanation of all of these skills, with tools to help you develop better skills in each area.
31 per cent of all participants chose this topic as one of their key “action areas”.
What about the rest?
There are many topics in this program, and the secret of the program’s success is that each participant chooses different topics – those that resonate most, those that appear to be quick and easy wins, those that will re-frame the way in which they are perceived the most.
Many participants also talk about the following specific skills and techniques they acquired from the program: