Leadership Development

In my post Are Leaders Born or Made? I expressed my belief that the best leaders have some preconditions but they learn later on how to lead. By getting a leading position it should never be the end stage of learning and changing phase: to be (stay) in shape and understand the working environment constant learning and developing is what is needed and necessary.
When we already occupy a position of a leader what more should we learn, what competences should we develop and how do we do that?

leading positionMost leaders (I should rather use the term managers) begin and end their learning process by visiting MBA programs and maybe some additional courses. Unfortunately, traditional management practices (taught in a typical MBA program) are usually not very helpful in the field of innovation process (read more: Leading a team). Innovations foster any kind of development that is much needed in the very competitive business environment of nowadays therefore innovation is the key to success for any leader.

leadership developmentAny organization’s future success depends on identifying and evolution of the next generation’s leaders. Organizations that fail to do that sooner or later experience a loss of its high-potential talent that is usually at the time already in short supply. In a study by Laci Loew and Karen O’Leonard, Leadership Development Factbook 2012: Benchmarks and Trends in U.S. Leadership Development (July 2012) was acknowledged that US companies alone spend almost $14 billion on leadership development annually.

Why do then so many companies ignore proper leadership development? Is it because companies too often demand a wish list of ambiguous qualities like creativity and innovation that fail to align with organizational needs? Or is it due to assumption that ‘one size fits all’ and that the same group of skills or style of leadership is appropriate regardless of the strategy, organizational culture, or leader mandate?

Development
Development should be in both, leader’s personality and leadership skills. We are well aware that in the leadership process personality plays the most important role (How can I change my personality for the better???). Identifying some of the deepest (‘below the surface’) thoughts, feelings, assumptions, and beliefs that form the whole personality of a leader is usually a precondition to change any personality shortcomings a person may have. It is definitely the hardest part of personality building. And, unfortunately, most current programs on the market are training oriented although it is well reported by studies that adults typically retain just 10 % of what they hear in classroom lectures. Therefore, training leaders is not the thing! A leader’s program that may help in personality and skill improvements development should basically consist of coaching, mentoring, mastering to lead. Program should be ‘learn by doing’ oriented. The studies show that within such oriented programs two-thirds of what is thought is grasped.

However, leaders are supposed to determine the specific skills and behaviors they need to successfully execute a company’s strategy. And then companies can invest heavily in educational process or search for such programs that are suitable for companies’ leaders and are within priorities that an organization has.

2 comments:

  1. You just share an informative blog that cover all the information about the change Leadership.
    Thanks for an awesome blog.

    Change Leadership

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    1. Avinash Dwivedi Thank you for encouraging comment.

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