The best leaders invest their heart and soul into bringing a company to its full potential. But it’s not only their leadership skills and capabilities that help them and their teams achieve the desired goals; their success is largely dependent on effective leadership development strategies.
Before digging into the most effective leadership strategies, let’s check out some stats and facts to get a better idea of what it takes to develop a stronger leadership presence.
Here is an alarming statistic that is important to consider when it comes to effective leadership: According to a report by Human Resource Professionals Association, 63% of Millennials reported incompetency in leadership development skills1.
Going by the stats, it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that we’ll be facing huge leadership gaps in the coming years. There could be an immense shortage of capable leaders in the workplace. Most businesses fail to ensure a workplace culture and proper planning to facilitate growth, coaching, and mentorship of the upcoming leaders. This is just the tip of the problem. Fortunately, there are effective solutions for the same. So, let’s move on to the next most crucial part.
Fundamentals of building result-oriented leadership development strategies
Organizations can elevate their chances of success by considering the elements listed below when creating leadership development strategies –
1. Bettering the executive support through both informal and formal approaches
Leadership development and executive support go hand in hand. However, it is to be noted that building leadership development strategies isn’t limited to securing a budget. The organizational leaders need to participate and make their contributions to the process.
The involvement of top leadership can be done by creating a steering committee that can advise and guide through the key milestones that pave the way to achieving the company’s goals. Arranging informal meetings with the leaders of other organizations is another option for deriving some learning points from their experiences, feedback, and input.
It will help you understand whether an informal or formal approach will help you improve your company’s performance and work culture. Executive participation is important for gaining broad engagement and participation of employees. Plus, it gives the impression that leaders care for the company and its people.
2. Understand the critical problems of the organization and develop leadership behaviors accordingly
Take note of the underlying issue when developing leadership development strategies. The leadership behaviors and competencies of the leaders should align with the company’s goals. Hence, it’s important to invest some time in determining the various issues existing in the organization and formulate the strategies accordingly.
It has often been seen that misalignment of leadership development strategies and organizational issues are the major reasons behind the failure of leadership efforts. Managers fail to understand even the tiniest things, for example, what kind of behaviors and practices are expected in their deliverables. Before the implementation of the learning program, it’s important to take note of the systemic issues.
Data is one of the best sources to learn about the major issues that need the urgent attention of leaders. Interview key stakeholders and conduct company surveys for reviewing and identifying the dynamics of an organization’s work culture.
Besides articulating the issues, look to keep a check on what’s working and what’s not for the organization. Amplify the behaviors and processes from time to time accordingly. The rule of thumb is to align the underlying issues with the right solutions. Keeping this fundamental in mind will help you in building holistic strategies.
3. Create a model that can enhance the leadership competencies of executives working at various levels in an organization
Companies should consider the input given by their employees (specifically those handling leadership positions) to define a holistic leadership view at the organizational level. The definition needs to be filtered through existing competency models and company values. There should be a defined set of frameworks for the same.
The ultimate aim is to create a structure for the leaders handling teams at various levels of the organization to develop excellent leadership capabilities while handling the work challenges. Plus, learning goals can also be attached to the framework so that the leaders can get a better idea of the company’s success goals. Customize this step according to your organization’s targets. The bottom line is to build a model that is focused on improving the leadership capabilities of the individuals through the course of their work.
4. Develop support programs for systematic integration of leadership elements in the company’s culture
Generally, the content taught through formal training is forgotten within a few days unless the individuals constantly relearn the material. Training leaders through the company’s processes and culture multiply their productivity and allows them to meet company expectations efficiently.
Learning should be encouraged through leadership engagement, ongoing conversation, and integrating leadership elements in the company’s work core processes and culture. In addition, internal transfer processes, performance management systems, talent review cycles, and culture surveys will further support the program.
The right leadership development strategies enhance the overall capabilities of both potential and current leaders. They also enable the management to handle other important aspects of leadership development such as 360 feedback, reviewing talent data, customization of development plans, and more.