Thursday, October 15, 2015

How to Embed Leadership Development in Business Management

It’s well-known fact that there is no perfect leader, but the progressive one is on their way to be more effective.

Leadership development is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today because leadership is about change. Leadership is both nature and nurtured, some can be trained, some can not. Leadership is also about values and beliefs, future and direction; discovery and dedication, how can you embed leadership development in cultivating high potential talent to achieve career success and growing a business from built to last and good to great as well?

Leadership is an art -and it takes the time to perfect an art. It also takes a commitment from those around the leader. Building trust and feedback loops are critical. Ensure that your emerging leaders are provided with ample professional development training, mentoring, job-coaching and job shadowing opportunities, provides a good start for them. Clearly, there are many other activities that you can offer up and coming leaders that will enhance their growth. A good foundation leads to greater probability of optimization. A philosophy/ program anchor/ concept or skill will embed when there's a personal and emotive connect and when it answers the question of "what's in it for me." The what’s need to be answered only once the big WHYs are clear. It’s about the capacity to see the bigger whole, the interconnections, the paradoxes and the polarities/dichotomies. That capacity can be gained in different ways.

Embedding leadership development requires a culture of learning in the organization. Your leadership development interventions and learning journeys will do well to be strongly aligned with business challenges. Great plan to integrate coaching to help transfer learning to leadership practice, could be made more impactful to ask the coaches to feed in schemes to support organizational learning. Leaders create culture and culture dictates success or failure because of leadership skills. One cannot train or embed leadership skills for lower level managers without the total support of the top executive. If their philosophy is different from what you teach, your information will eventually go by the wayside. Evaluate values, beliefs, attitudes, policies, expectations and workplace climate and you will know what is going on and what information you need to share with management.

Recognition and reward mechanism is embedded in reinforcing leadership development. It's a leadership development construct or perspective- on the job observation, feedback, and continuous coaching may be clues to how well it has embedded. Also- the system within which the learning needs to be embedded needs to have a recognition and reward mechanism to constantly reinforce what's desired and appreciated in terms of leadership behavior/ skill/ approach. If "part of the problem is there are too many leaders who don't measure up," a solution may be to re-engineer the leadership. Begin with re-designing a strategy, rediscovering the talent pipeline, and re-training leaders to be digital leaders who can close the gaps and make differences.

Developing leaders is a crucial investment, requiring time and energy, often viewed as a luxury in today's fast-paced work environment. There does appear to be a leadership gap. Leaders today need to prioritize by taking a hard look at what they value and assure it is instilled among their leaders and emitting throughout their company culture. Embed leadership development by striking a shared balance between operations and development is a great place to start.


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