Welcome to the final part of this four-part blog series. If you haven’t yet, go check out the previous three weeks where I shared an inside look at Thrive Talent’s Fundamentals of Leading People program. In each week, I shared an overview of the week’s content and recapped what we discussed and learned in our facilitated live sessions.
As this is the final part to this series, I will be sharing my thoughts on the program as a whole in addition to giving an overview of the week four content and live session takeaways.
Week 4 eLearning Content
The final week of the program offers a content-rich curriculum much like week one through three, but additionally focuses on bringing everything that was learned in the program together and offering tools to continue development following the program end. Built right into the eLearning content and live facilitated sessions was an emphasis on creating a leadership development plan and understanding what we as individuals wanted to accomplish after the program concluded. The eLearning content for the week set us up for success in developing our leadership plans and included the following topics:
- Annual planning
- Building a budget
- Mission, vision, values
- Assessing leadership readiness
- Developing your leadership story
Particularly in week four, I felt like the eLearning did a great job of connecting the dots and demonstrating how the content that we covered over the course of the program fits together. And, I walked away with several tangible tools to implement immediately and with a plan of how to not only craft my leadership development journey, but also how to share and leverage that journey as I move forward in my career.
Week 4 Virtual Instructor-Led Training
This week’s live session, Objective Setting, was my favorite session of the program. Our cohort was able to engage in meaningful dialogue about the role objective setting plays in leading people and the cascading impact setting the right objectives has on organizations. One of the biggest takeaways from the session was how to approach objective setting in complex organizations where many teams and individual contributors impact overall success. We discussed determining high level goals and then defining how each player at each level of the organization will contribute to achieving the goal. This led into a really great conversation about how this can be motivating for employees at all levels if done well and very naturally brought back conversations we had in week one about employee engagement. One of my fellow participants put it very nicely when she said that one of the best ways to drive employee engagement is to ensure that every employee knows and feels the value of their role. When communicating high-level objectives to our teams, we must prioritize clarity and comprehension of the impact every player has – from the CEO to part-time hourly employees and everyone in between. Doing this and doing it well sets teams up for success and creates a culture where employees feel valued and know their efforts are important.
Another key part of this session was discussing the importance of setting reasonable goals. As a cohort, we discussed how to both set reasonable goals and how to address unrealistic goals that have been set at higher levels of the organization. Again, this nicely tied in previous discussions we had about the role of managing up as a leader and how to have an impact regardless of where you fall in the decision-making hierarchy. We ended the session by recognizing that we will not always meet our objectives and brainstorming what to do when we miss the mark. It was refreshing to hear about how my peers have handled failure in their organizations and have the opportunity to learn from their experiences. I left with a much better understanding of how to turn misses into lessons and step up as a leader to guide teams through that learning process in the spirit of continuous improvement.
With that, the February 2023 Fundamentals of Leading People program concluded. Going into the program, I of course expected to learn, but I underestimated how immediately applicable the content would be to both my work and personal life. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the program – the eLearning offered the flexibility to learn at my own pace, the live sessions were information-rich and fostered peer-to-peer learning, and the Thrive platform provided a great tool for engaging and networking among our cohort. It was great to learn alongside a group of professionals with a wide range of leadership experience. This program has something to offer regardless of where you fall in your leadership journey. Thank you so much for following along as I shared my experience over the last four weeks.