Ed Batista is an executive coach and an instructor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also writes a great blog. A recent post asked the question “What Do Great Leaders Do?” and then answered the question with these five things.
“1. Great leaders support others’ development as leaders, which may require allowing them to fail.
2. Great leaders accept their unique responsibility to embody the culture and walk their talk every day.
3. Great leaders trust in themselves while also being committed to continued personal development.
4. Great leaders know when to make their presence felt and when to get out of the way.
5. Great leaders add value by leading, not doing, and focus on motivating, challenging and supporting others.”
I’ve worked with leaders now for a few decades and Ed’s list resonates with me. He adds lots of detail for each of his five points, so I recommend that you read the entire post. But the question for us is: “What does that mean for leadership development?’ How we develop great leaders?
Leadership development on multiple dimensions
It’s obvious from the list that “leadership” is not either a single or a simple thing. We need to pay attention to all five dimensions of leadership.
Leadership development should use several methods
Courses and coaching are not enough. If you want to have an effective leadership development program you need more. Two possibilities are developmental assignments and facilitated after-action reviews.
Leadership development is never done
You can’t just dunk a potential leader in the leadership development bath and declare him or her fully prepared for all time. As leaders develop through their careers, they need different kinds of help and support.