My definition of leadership is, “one human positively influencing another”. Which means if you think about it, we can all be a leader……if we choose to. As we can all choose, or not, to wake up in the morning and positively influence those we serve. We all serve someone. But how would we know what those choices are unless we were trained effectively to make the right leadership choices? Surgeons have to pass numerous exams before they can operate on people. Pilots spend thousands of hours training before they can fly solos. How come we don’t do the same for training leaders in leadership? A bad leader can harm a human just as much as a bad surgeon or pilot.
However, did you know that effective leadership training has a significant effect on your organization? Emphasis on “effective”. There is a big difference between ineffective, or net neutral, and effective. Statistics have shown that effective leadership training can increase overall job performance by up to 20%. Unfortunately, effective leadership has been lacking. The Leadership training industry has been rife with mediocrity. In the eyes of executives, what HR does to prepare their leaders for success doesn’t work.
Alex Draper has been working fearlessly and passionately to change the record on how leadership training is perceived, and just how effective leadership training can be if done right. He has been making a difference and upsetting the apple cart in the leadership training industry.
About Alex Draper
Alex Draper is the CEO OF DX Learning Solutions, a partner in progressive leadership training that taps into the powerful combination of behavioral psychology and experimental learning to expose and eliminate bad leadership and prepare leaders to put people first.
Alex’s company designs deliver and license its products to enhance their client’s leadership development initiatives. For smaller organizations, DX helps build, shift and sustain human-centric cultures.
Alex is also an author and he’s inching closer to finishing his first book, The CARE Equation. This book speaks about unleashing the leader potential hidden in us all.
How it Started
How did Alex come to the leadership training arena? Well, Alex started as a trainee school teacher in the UK. He moved into adult education in 2002, where he joined a global management development organization. Three years later, he moved to Chicago to build and lead their Americas operation. He spent a whole decade leading and growing the business while consulting with many of the Fortune 500.
During that period, Alex saw a gap in the marketplace for efficacy-based leadership training that focuses more on EQ, not IQ. That is what DX was founded on. Arming leaders with the EQ that is needed to lead in the modern workplace. Today, he disrupts the leadership training industry with science-based methodologies that drive leadership self-awareness, emotional intelligence, inclusivity, which lead to increases in psychological safety that solve organizational challenges.
The Leadership Gap
The right human-centric culture in many organizations has been missing. There is not enough clarity and vision; not enough autonomy and flexibility; the human relationships and a sense of belonging are missing, and equity got lost in the mail somewhere. Many organizations and leaders within truly don’t CARE for their employees in the right way. Additionally, leaders do not live up to the values that are written on the walls and websites of their corporations. They say one thing and do another. Delegating staff issues to HR has also been another significant problem. “We’ll leave all this EQ and people stuff to my HRBP. Executives have also tried to delegate culture to their CHROs, something that is hard to do effectively. Leaders need to own culture and take accountability for leading in line with the demands of the modern worker.
The Secret to Effective Leadership
Alex has helped develop and unlock leadership in over 25,000 people with DX’s leadership programs worldwide. But what makes him a coveted leader?
- Practicing What He Teaches
Most leaders don’t do what they instruct others to do. Let alone teach in their leadership programs. However, for Alex, the scenario is different. This man practices precisely what he teaches for an ever-growing global team and at home with two children and people he mentors and coaches. He is far from perfect but seeks to get better every day.
2. People First
Alex puts people first. period. Through servant leadership practices, demonstrating high levels of empathy, he understands that leaders can learn the behaviors that are expected of them. Leadership is not something we were born to do, it’s something we can learn. This strategy is what has given him tremendous success. It has resulted in better results and happier employees. A people-first culture will lead to higher productivity, lower stress, more vital customer satisfaction, and is just right.
Even during the pandemic, Alex did not fire a single employee. The team he entered with, is the team he exited with. Even after losing every cent of the revenue for over 3 months, he found a way to keep them together. He is proud of the enormous success, and every team member’s contribution to the business he created affirms his inclusive leadership style. His team loves him because of always puts them first and is concerned about their needs. After all the turmoil, this will be a record-breaking revenue year, and the team is growing. Proof, putting people first wins in the long term.
Alex is offering leadership training that is creating real change. By creating a people-first culture and practicing what he teaches, he takes all his lessons learned over 20 years of failures to take leadership training to the next level. As a leader, you need to understand people and empathize with them. You also need to realize that you need to treat people how they want to be treated, not how you want to be treated. We can teach that. It’s not something that comes naturally to most.