(2 minute read)

When Marian Wright Edelman famously quoted, “You can’t be what you can’t see”, she was referring to the lack of female representation in positions of power or influence.

While Edelman’s concern is as relevant today as when she first made this statement in 2011, there are  wider implications for leaders and managers – many of whom are not modelling the desired behaviours they wish their team members to demonstrate.

A key component of behavioural change – essential in the quest of ‘People Development’ – is the modelling of desired behaviours, in the hope/belief that team members will adopt some of the same practises or behaviours.

The ongoing ‘war for talent’ among companies and organisations globally, can be minimised or offset by providing development opportunities for employees, removing one of the key drivers for the recent epidemic of ‘quiet quitting’.

Providing role models and mentors within – or external to – the business, has proven an effective way of retaining and developing valued employees.

Through formal or informal meetings, shadowing, network meetings, in-house or external professional development workshops, leaders and managers can provide team members with multiple examples of people who are succeeding or excelling in their respective roles.

With this increased exposure to colleagues, managers, and mentors at various levels of their respective careers, employees have the opportunity to see more.

It makes sense then, that the more they get to see, the more they can be!


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