I have just returned from a great week’s family skiing holiday in La Rosiere, France.

It was the first time that my three boys had been skiing, but by the end of the week they were tackling the moderately difficult red runs. It won’t be long before they’re on black diamonds – although, when they do, they’ll have to ski them without their dad!

I was amazed at the speed and quality of their progress, and identified the following factors the excellent ski instructors used to drive their success:

  1. They were instructed on the gentle nursery slopes to begin with, so that they could develop their technique before tackling trickier pistes;
  2. They received small group instruction, and were with children of similar ability;
  3. The instructors made each session fun, rather than seriously demanding;
  4. They received rewards for success – for instance they got to use poles, or to go up the mountain on the chairlift as they developed; and
  5. The ski instructors were with them all the time, giving them instant feedback to help them improve.

How are you developing your future leaders? Are you providing active instruction and coaching support to help them develop the capabilities to tackle the most difficult slopes and conditions, or are you just showing them the mountain and expecting them to simply get on with it?

By giving your emerging leaders a series of more challenging roles and projects, providing them with support from a cadre of experts, and rewarding their success, you can watch your people progress from leading their teams with awkward snowplough techniques and regular falls, to effortlessly gliding down the slopes.

Picture: Dawn in La Rosiere, 22 February 2011


© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.