”Invest in your leadership team as people, not as a depreciating assets.”

People don’t work for organizations. They work for people. Most people don’t” quit their job,” they quit their leader. Just because you give someone a title and call them a leader, doesn’t make it so. Without giving them proper training and support, it will never happen.

Some organizations, especially non-profits, send new leaders off to a one-day session on leadership that’s usually held at local hotel or conference center. While this may be a noble effort, it’s simply not enough.

New leaders, those who define the future and create a path to get there, and managers, those who make every day effective and efficient, greatly benefit from openly sharing their challenges and learning from one another under the guidance of a seasoned leadership coach.

Seminars and workshops have their place. However, they are usually led by professional presenters who may or may not have a solid and successful track record outside the classroom. Many times, leaders come home overloaded with a lot a great information, but don’t have a clue on how to implement it where they are expected to lead real human beings.

Consultants are like doctors. They arrive at the scene, do a thorough assessment, write a prescription that’s supposed to fix everything, collect their fee and leave. If that prescription doesn’t work, they always have more as long as you have the money. This is why I’m a huge proponent of group coaching.

That means coming alongside the leader and his or her team for an extended length of time and being brutally honest about their challenges. Then, help them find ways to address the challenges and also find out what they do best and do more of it.

I’ve led these groups myself and can attest to their effectiveness. The investment required for this is significantly less than the cost of one placement fee to replace a core leader who left because his or her “boss” didn’t have a clue how to lead people.

Talk to your team. Here’s an idea that won’t cost you a dime. Ask them what their hopes and dreams were when they began working for your organization. Follow up by asking if they still feel this way. If they say no, seek their input in terms of what you can do to change this. Then take action.

Of course, you could choose to sit back as a naive or uninformed leader and enjoy what you believe is the ideal work opportunity and environment.

If you do, don’t be surprised when a team member knocks on your office door, envelope in hand, and says, “Got a minute?”