Leadership development and the front line

October 4, 2017 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is about helping men and women become more and more effective leaders. But too many companies limit their development efforts to the top of the organizational pyramid. What about the other leaders?

In “What Research Says About Getting the Most from Your Leadership Pipeline,” Evan Sinar reports on DDI’s research. Here’s the money quote.

“Our research makes a resoundingly strong case for having effective development programs across the full pipeline. Looking at 150 publicly traded companies and using, for comparison, a financial composite that included profitability, earnings per share, five-year rate of return to investors, and stockholder equity, we found that those organizations that successfully extend their leadership development programs across all three levels financially outperform their peers!”

The “three levels” he’s talking about are “frontline, mid-, and senior levels.” So where will you have the most impact?

Leadership development and the front line

Several years ago, Fred Hassan wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review titled, “The Frontline Advantage.” He described frontline leaders this way,

“Typically, they make up 50% to 60% of a company’s management ranks and directly supervise as much as 80% of the workforce.”

Those leaders are important because create the company culture as it’s experienced by most of the people who work for your company. Improve the way they work and you will increase engagement, retention, and profitability. Or you can ignore them and spend your money and effort on the folks at the top the pyramid.

How are you doing? Does your leadership development program develop the leaders who have the most powerful impact on productivity and morale?

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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