The following post is a guest blog I contributed to the Professional Academy in January 2015. I thought it would be useful to share it.
Creating the right environment to develop effective leaders can be a challenge. Sara Horsfall from Jobshare specialists Ginibee shares her vision for using flexible working to fast-track leadership development.
We are experiencing a crisis in leadership development. The current system is not working, and many high performing employees who aren’t able to work long hours are being overlooked for leadership positions.
What if there was another option?
I specialise in creating successful Jobshare partnerships, and in my experience I have encountered many high performing, high profile partnerships, where leadership roles are shared. Many of the key attributes of good leaders are essential for effective Jobsharing.
What if there was a requirement for Jobsharing as part of leadership training for both full-time and part-time employees? I believe this would help to bridge the leadership gap and produce improved opportunities for leadership development, compatible with career flexibility.
The leadership crisis
A survey by Human Resources blog TLNT in October 2014 revealed 42% of executives say company growth plans are “slowed by lack of access to the right leadership”.
Clearly, something needs to change.
We know that women account for only 20.7% of board positions despite many having the necessary skills. What if there was a way to ensure more women were given opportunities to prove and use their leadership skills even if they weren’t able to work full-time? And this doesn’t just apply to women. What about people preparing for retirement, or caring for a relative?
So what makes a good leader?
The subject of leadership can be a tricky one that is interpreted in many different ways, which perhaps contributes to the level of dissatisfaction that exists.
A survey by TLNT suggested that communication skills and humility are the top two leadership traits.
So how do developing leaders learn and practice these skills? And how do organisations create the opportunity for both men and women to practice these skills at all levels and at all points in their career, whether they’re working part-time or full-time?
Could Jobsharing be the answer?
I’d like you to imagine an organisation where leadership development and flexible working are harmonious. Where ‘required Jobsharing’ is an essential part of practicing important leadership skills ‘on the job’.
Employees who work full-time can share more than one role. In other words, ‘required Jobsharing’ not only develops leaders who want to work full-time and can share more than one role, but it offers a career development opportunity to those who need to work part-time through Jobsharing a career role.
Using Jobsharing in this way increases the pool of candidates for potential leadership roles and encourages equality, diversity and flexibility throughout the company.
How to integrate Jobsharing into your leadership development programme?
- Open up all full-time leadership roles to applications from Jobshare partnerships.
- Empower and enable employees to find and create Jobshare partnerships.
- Actively support shared objectives, identity and accountability as a way of demonstrating strong leadership skills