Leadership development and senior leadership

June 13, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is important enough to claim CEO attention. This past weekend, I read a provocative article in the McKinsey Quarterly by Amy Edmondson and Bror Saxberg. It was “Putting lifelong learning on the CEO agenda.” Here’s a quote that caught my eye.

“As a senior leader, then, you have to rethink how to continuously improve the skills of your employees beyond conventional training and education. You need to insist on experimenting with new learning methods and look for approaches that are based on good evidence. And you need to identify and support learning leaders who are deeply connected to learning science and who can make the case for implementing the right measures.”

The article contains insights on the kind of leadership development we may need in the future. But the quote above got me thinking about the role of senior leaders in leadership development.

Leadership development and the role of senior leadership

Leaders point the way and show the way to a better organization and future. They should do two things in leadership development. Senior leaders should model the way as avid practitioners of good personal development. That’s walking the walk.

Senior leaders must also participate in the programmatic parts of the program. That gives them the opportunity to tell aspiring leaders what’s expected. That’s talking the talk.

Leadership development should be leverage

Senior leaders influence everyone they touch. That’s important but limited. When they become key players in developing leaders  the influence spreads to the people aspiring leaders touch.

To be the best, your leadership development program should involve senior leaders. They should participate as part of their own development. And they should lead and participate as part of their leadership role.

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

Posted in Leadership Development

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