Improving Leadership Development
Whether your 2022 business goals include increasing your revenue or sales and making your team more efficient, or delegating more responsibilities and opening up more time to grow your company, chances are your organization will be better equipped to achieve those goals with one crucial improvement: designing a more effective leadership strategy.
Companies that prioritize developing their leaders can see up to a 48% increase in profitability, 22% increase in productivity, and 17% increase in client engagement, and it’s no mystery why. Better leaders are more engaged and more effective and lead teams of more engaged and more effective employees.
But what exactly makes a better leader and how can you empower your leaders to perform at those high levels of performance?
Leaders Are Made—Not Born—And That Means You Have A Huge Advantage
Take the following into consideration:
- According to a recent study by Gallup, only 10% of people have the natural talent to lead at a high level of performance.
- 87% of the time the people in leadership positions don’t have these high levels of natural leadership talent.
- Research conducted by our leadership experts through decades of experience shows that high-performing leaders have 5 key leadership traits in common—all of which can be learned.
- The first 90 days of a manager or senior leader’s tenure define how he or she will perform as a leader; however even mid-career every leader, regardless of experience level, can improve his or her leadership capabilities with ongoing leadership training and coaching.
- 98% of leaders say they wish they had more opportunities to participate in leadership development programs.
- When a leadership team transforms to attain these high levels of leadership skills, companies can see improvements such as over 40% increase in revenue, over 20% increase in efficiency, and more.
What Do All These Facts And Figures Mean?
The bottom line is if you don’t currently have a strategy for developing your leaders, then you have an outstanding opportunity to achieve measurable results in key areas of company performance.
4 Steps To A Successful Leadership Development Strategy
Step 1: Determine The Leadership Qualities Your Company Needs
The first step of harnessing the power of your leaders to achieve company goals is to get a better idea of what leadership qualities your leaders need to have to help you achieve your company goals.
The best way to define these traits is to consider your long-term business goals. You probably already know which steps need to be taken to achieve these goals. What skills do your leaders need to have or be stronger in to help you acheve each step.
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This may include traits and skills such as more effective delegation to free up more time for your leaders to think more strategically, having more confidence influencing others to lead and manage change, or integrating more performance coaching into their interactions with employees to build stronger and more effective teams.
Step 2: Assess Your Current Strategy
After you determine the qualities and skills your leaders need to help you achieve your goals, it’s time for a bit of assessment and reflection. Are you currently empowering your leaders to develop the skills and tools your company needs to achieve its highest goals? If not, why not?
Ask yourself questions such as the following:
- Do you currently have a list of traits and skills you use to select and assess the effectiveness of your leaders?
- Do you currently offer your leaders regular training and coaching to reinforce the leadership skills most important to your organization?
- Do your leaders have mentors or coaches that help them improve their leadership skills on a regular basis?
Take time to assess your current leadership development strategy, then identify the gaps where leadership improvement will help you achieve your goals.
Step 3: Close The Gaps
How do you get from where you are to where you want to go? An effective leadership development strategy focuses on three areas within your leadership pipeline:
- Ongoing training to expand your current leadership team’s skills to meet the needs within your ideal Leadership Profile.
- Developing a leadership culture that empowers you to identify high-talent individuals within your organization whom you can intentionally grow for future leadership positions.
- Support new leaders through their transition to apply and reinforce the skills, traits, and habits most important to your organization’s success.
Step 4: Design & Implement Your Strategy
Once you’ve defined your leadership profile and the goals of your leadership development strategy, it’s time to design a system that supports these goals.
- Flipped learning – a learning acceleration strategy that uses self-learning prior to expert-led training and conversation.
- Individualized learning – curriculum that emphasizes personalizing tools and techniques to each participant to improve retention and application.
- Expanded timeline – teaching leadership skills over a 1-2 month period with support to ensure application and practice between modules.
- Virtual learning – maximize budget while bringing together a group of leaders regardless of location, time zone, or availability while integrating into a leader’s schedule instead of detracting from existing work.
- Professional coaching – perhaps the most significant feature you can look for in a leadership development program. Personalizes curriculum to the individual, directs actual application, troubleshoots learning challenges, and serves as an expert co-pilot to maximize learning.
How Are You Currently Supporting And Improving Your Leaders?
If you’re like most organizations (93% of organizations, to be exact), then you probably feel like there are significant gaps in your leadership development strategy. Taking time to identify those gaps and resolve them with regular training and coaching not only significantly improves leadership satisfaction and engagement; it can also create major lasting change in important KPIs such as revenue, margins, and efficiency.
About the Author
Founder and CEO
Patrick effectively coaches leaders at all levels and across a number of industries with a pragmatic, consultative approach. Previously, he was vice president with Right Management and held other senior OD and development positions in manufacturing and the professional services Industries. He holds an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Lamar University.
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