Leadership development isn’t all there is

July 19, 2017 by Wally Bock

Leadership development isn’t just about developing leaders

Antoine Tirard and Claire Lyell wrote a provocative article for the INSEAD business school site titled, “Talent Management for the Age of Career Disruption.” The whole article is worth reading, but here’s the part that caught my eye.

“A study from Right Management shows that organisations that provide career development are six times more likely to engage their employees and four times less likely to lose workers. A 2015 LinkedIn survey showed that, when deciding whether to accept a final job offer, candidates considered career advancement as much as the financial and intellectual rewards of the role. Most employees say they would be more engaged at work if career discussions were more regular. But these discussions rarely happen.”

Most leadership development programs try to identify people with “leadership potential” to meet the challenges of the future. That may not be the best strategy.

Leadership development as an outcome of people development

The best leadership development strategy may be to develop everyone, not simply the people we think will be leaders. If Tirard and Lyell are right, that will provide a workforce filled with people more likely be engaged and more likely to remain with the company. But there’s more.

Some of those people will aspire to leadership. The leadership development part of your people development program, can offer those people opportunities for temporary leadership assignments. That gives them the opportunity to determine if they like the work. It gives you the opportunity to assess their aptitude and insight into what training and development they need. But there’s even more.

Some of the people you develop will become “leaders in waiting.” They can develop the skills that will make them effective leaders without position. They’re also people you want to have in your company in a business future that will be full of surprises. They’ll be ready if the time comes when they’re needed, loyal to the company and prepared to lead.

Here’s the bottom line. When you develop people, you will get leaders.

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

Posted in Leadership Development

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