Leadership development: The Secret Sauce

April 25, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development practitioners are always looking for an edge. We hope that one book out of the 20,000-plus on Amazon will give us the one big thing that will suddenly make things right. There are plenty of good ideas out there in books and articles and web sites, but they can only make things better at the margins.

Leadership Development: The Basics are Basic

No matter how you do it, you must do the basics. You must recruit people with the potential to become leaders. You must select those with the aptitude and desire to do the work to become effective leaders. You must provide training, coaching, mentoring, peer support, and learning resources. That’s a lot of ingredients, but not one is “the Secret Sauce.”

Leadership Development is Everyone’s Job

In the best programs, leaders from the top of the organization to the first line supervisors are part of the mix. They’re the role models that aspiring leaders emulate. They approve budgets and assign aspiring leaders to developmental activities. Company leaders do things every day that help develop quality leaders and deep leadership benches. They’re important, but they’re not the Secret Sauce, either.

Leadership Development Should Happen Every Day

Aspiring leaders should learn their craft every day. Their leaders should do things every day that help them. Leaders must do their part to devote time and energy and attention to helping aspiring leaders develop and grow. It’s important for leadership development to be an everyday thing, but it’s not the Secret Sauce.

Leadership Development Secret Sauce

The Secret Sauce in is unremitting diligence. It’s doing the basics day after day for decades. It’s making sure that development activities are funded and staffed, even when times are lean. The Secret Sauce is believing that leadership development is vital, and then acting like it.

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

Posted in Leadership Development

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