Leadership development: CEO Involvement is Key

April 10, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development has a lot of moving parts. There are programs and evaluations. Forms get filled out. Development plans get drawn up. Meetings are held. 

In some companies, the result is a vibrant leadership development program. The program produces the leaders of the future, but also the leaders of the present. If leadership development is good throughout the company leadership is good. When leadership is good, retention, engagement, and profitability follow.

You can see most of the parts I mentioned in any leadership development program in any company. Some of them go through the motions but not much happens. Others develop leaders. The difference is at the top of the org chart. Leadership development is better when the CEO leads the charge.

Leadership Development: CEO Involvement Says It’s Important

A reporter asked General Douglas MacArthur why he exposed himself to enemy fire. His answer tells us something about what leadership, and thus, leadership development, is about.

“If I do it, the Colonels do it. And if the Colonels do it, the Captains do it. If the Captains do it, the Lieutenants do it.”

When the CEO is involved, the involvement says more than any memo, video, or all-hands meeting. It says, “Leadership development is so important, that I’m doing it. You should, too.”

Leadership Development: CEO Involvement Provides A Mental Model

Think about that Douglas MacArthur quote again. “If I do it, the Colonels do it.” The CEO sets the example for how leadership development work gets done in the company.

If he or she devotes full energy and attention to leadership development, managers up and down the org chart will do the same thing. If he or she holds subordinates accountable for being prepared and for energetic participation, managers up and down the org chart will do it, too.

Leadership Development Bottom Line

One of my Marine commanding officers said, “There is no leadership without leadership by example.” When the CEO sets the example for good leadership development, it’s much more likely to become a company value.

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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 4/5/19

April 5, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about the paradox of leadership development programs, who makes it to the C-suite, how Intertape, […]




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Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about smart strategies for supporting leadership development, how to coach more effectively, supercharging leadership development, […]




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Leadership Development Leverage

March 27, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development programs are complicated. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of levers to pull. How do you decide what to do first?  The Forbes Human Resources Council recently weighed in with an article titled, “14 Smart Strategies for Supporting Leadership Development at Every Level.” The council is an “invitation only, […]




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March 22, 2019 by Wally Bock

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Leadership development for Front-line Leaders

March 20, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is another place in life where what we do reveals our values. If you follow the money, you’ll find that most companies lavish leadership development funds on the people at the top of the pyramid. Leaders at the bottom get little. Here’s how Verity Creedy of DDI describes the situation. But all this […]




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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 3/15/19

March 15, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about leadership development for new front-line leaders, a crucial role for human resources, and making […]




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Leadership Development and the Promotion to Front-line Leadership

March 13, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development programs abandon new front-line leaders just when they need help the most. Kevin Eikenberry gets it right in his post, “One Thing Organizations Must Provide New Supervisors.” “Every day, in organizations everywhere, people are promoted to their first leadership role. They receive titles like supervisor, lead, foreman, or front-line leader. Those titles matter […]




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March 8, 2019 by Wally Bock

Leadership development may be the most important thing any company does. That’s why, every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about leadership development on the basics of leadership, executive education, and talent development in the […]




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