Leadership Development Specifics

July 25, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development programs that work don’t simply help aspiring leaders learn a set of general skills that they can use anywhere. I think Boris Groysberg made that case very effectively a decade or so ago. Rodney Apple’s article in Supply Chain Management Review, “Advance Your Top Talent Through a Supply Chain Leadership Development Program” made the same case in a different way. Here’s one part that caught my eye.

“According to DHL’s recent report, 58% of companies have a hard time finding employees with both operational experience and soft skills. As baby boomers continue to retire in droves, it’s imperative for organizations to take steps to create more robust talent pipelines, as today’s supply chain leaders need to be able to think multidimensional. One way to do so is through creating a Supply Chain Leadership Development Program (LDP).”

Specific job skills matter. Your leadership development program should be helping aspiring leaders develop industry- and company-specific skills as well and more general “leadership” skills.

Leadership development is industry-specific

Every industry has its own jargon and its own lore. You can develop leaders who are familiar with those things. Or you can hire from outside the industry and hope the new leader can learn them.

Leadership development is company-specific

Every company has its own “way we do things around here,” that thing we call “culture.” You can develop leaders who will absorb the culture as they grow and develop. Or you can hire leaders from outside and hope they get it.

Leadership development and relationships

Relationships are key. As they develop their skills, aspiring leaders also develop a network of working relationships. They learn who to turn to for advice and who to trust. Leaders you bring in from outside have learn it all from scratch.

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

Posted in Leadership Development

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