Recognizing the Situation
Some managers and leaders in SIL come into the organization with previous formal management education and/or experience. It is more common that those who have ended up serving as managers and leaders in SIL came into the organization to contribute in some other specific realm. Some have come in as pilots or literacy workers, teachers or linguists. But as the years go by, other people begin to notice leadership potential in them, and suggest they take more responsibility in leading, managing, and supervising.
Other people who would be very happy to continue working in their specific field, get tapped to step into leadership/management because of the vacuum created by existing leaders going on furlough, losing health or visas, needing to leave the field for needs of children or aging parents, or transitioning into retirement.
In the business world, the term for people who are moved into leadership without formal training or previous experience is “accidental leaders.” And yes, it’s not just a phenomena found in SIL. It’s our desire in HR People Learning & Development to support leaders on their developmental journey.
The Big Picture
As mentioned in previous pages, the Leadership Perspectives events are the starting, foundational piece for new leaders and those beginning leadership in SIL. Leadership Perspectives address aspects of the needed mindset of the leader. But the next thing that needs to be addressed is the development of skills in a) leading and managing people, and b) managing projects and programs. One tool in our strategy to address skill development in these areas is online learning. Though not as effective as face-to-face teaching and learning, it can reach more people over less time without the costs of travel. Others tools will be described later.
Then, as people develop in both of these skill areas, they should be supported by coaches and/or mentors as they work to implement new skills.
One practical course in managing projects and programs is the Unit Financial Planning & Management course found in Course-Connections. Other courses coming soon are The Managers Toolbox, Business Plans & Cycles,and Project Management.