Leadership Development

A good leader can make a poor plan work well and a poor leader can butcher almost any plan. Leaders are not necessarily managers and managers are not necessarily leaders. Therein lies the "rub".
  

What do I need to know?

There are facts every organization needs to know:

  • Leadership is difficult

  • Leadership mistakes are painfully expensive

  • Leaders have willing followers

  • Leaders must provide vision and inspiration

  • Leaders must be more adaptable than ever before

  • Leaders are hard to find

  • Leaders can be developed

Leadership development should be viewed as organizational and personal. Organizations of virtually any size need to develop leaders for ongoing success and these leaders need to develop personally and professionally. You cannot have one without the other.

Is this something new?

Lack of leadership development is not a new problem. In the “IBM Global Human Capital Study”, the top four organizational challenges (in reverse order) were:

  • Passing on knowledge from older to younger employees (<30%)

  • Rotating leadership talent across business units (<40%)

  • Fostering a culture that supports learning and development (<40%)

  • Building leadership talent (>75%)

Building leadership talent was cited by more than 75% of the organizations! These issues remain today. Driving the need to develop leaders is due to retiring baby boomers and the perception of leadership today – but keep in mind, not everyone wants to be a leader. A common mistake is to promote a long term employee with great expertise and hope they will become a leader. It doesn't always turn out well. Employees not seeking formal leadership roles can be rewarded in other ways that assure their commitment and retention.

What should be done?

The time to consider leadership development is not when people leave the organization! Good leaders inspire and encourage employee retention. Poor leaders can cause others to leave. A leadership development plan protects the organization from operational dysfunction caused by a lack of workers or unmotivated workers.

Good leadership development plans contain some key features:

  • It evaluates the current leadership structure

  • It evaluates the leadership needs of the future

  • It identifies gaps

  • It identifies current and potential leaders and evaluates skills sets

  • It identifies training and coaching needs

  • It provides a budgeted mechanism with a timeline to address needed skill sets

  • It generates a return on investment

Some final points.


Good leaders make a significant contribution to the bottom line not only by their own performance but also through the people they lead. This is reflected in high productivity, high morale and increased retention.

Remember - individuals that leave (because of poor leadership) or cause others to leave, can cause business interruption and can be extremely expensive. Leadership development minimizes or avoids those losses.

We can help you create a workable and successful leadership development program through training and coaching.

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