Gesellschaft für Personal- und Organisationsentwicklung mbH
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Am Mühlbach 1
In our work, we often hear the presumption that a person over 40 years of age is no longer capable of development. Especially not when it comes to their own approach and social skills. The train seems to have left the station when people finish their education. Everything that develops after that is effectively only small changes of an existing behavioral repertoire. This is actually not a particularly motivating idea, especially when we take for granted that we demand from employees that they positively deal with new professional challenges and also implement these for themselves up until retirement.
What is the difference between the learning demanded of employees and the learning of managers? Do we make too much of a differentiation between the learning of “hard facts” and the learning of “soft facts”?
We can only conclude from our work that the difference in learning in these two areas is primarily in the acceptance of learning. This means that it is clear to all of us that we have to deal with new techniques, new machines, etc., and these in general also benefit us. If we approach learning of soft facts with the same attitude, we will find that development is also possible here up until retirement. The question behind this is: Does the change which is always associated with learning benefit me, and does this benefit outweigh the effort required? Related to leadership: Can I recognize in advance of the change in my leadership behavior that this development will benefit me? And is this benefit greater than the effort required from me? If the answer to both questions is YES, an important prerequisite for learning leadership behavior exists.
Returning to the initial question: Can leadership be developed? We answer with a clear YES!