I focus on Leadership Development as a 24×7 behavior that we practice in both our personal & professional lives. The greater amount of practice, and practicing that which plays to our natural strengths, the faster we perfect & more authentically ingrain those behaviors into every aspect of our lives.
Leadership development refers to any activity that enhances the quality of leadership within an individual or organization. Traditionally, leadership development has focused on developing the leadership abilities and attitudes of individuals, but rarely focused on emotional intelligence & behavioral change.
Just as people are not all born with the ability or desire to play football like Peyton Manning or to sing like Luciano Pavarotti, people are not all born with the ability to lead. Different personal traits, characteristics and lived life experiences can help or hinder a person’s leadership effectiveness and require formalized programs for developing leadership competencies that are both practical & play to an individuals natural strengths.
Classroom-style training and associated reading is effective in helping leaders to know more about what is involved in leading well. However, knowing what to do and doing what one knows are two very different outcomes; management expert Henry Mintzberg is one person to highlight this dilemma.
It is estimated that as little as 5% to 20% of learning from traditional classroom-style training results in sustained behavioral change within workplaces.
Leadership Development @ Collective
More recently, organizations have come to understand that leadership can also be developed by strengthening the connection between, and alignment of, the efforts of individual leaders and the systems through which they influence organizational operations. This has led to a differentiation between leader development and leadership development.
Leadership development can build on the development of individuals (including followers) to become leaders. In addition, it also needs to focus on the interpersonal linkages between the individuals in the team.
In the belief that the most important resource that an organization possesses is the people that comprise the organization, some organizations address the development of these resources (even including the leadership).
In contrast, the concept of “Employeeship” recognizes that what it takes to be a good leader is not too dissimilar to what it takes to be a good employee. Therefore, bringing the notional leader together with the team to explore these similarities (rather than focusing on the differences) brings positive results. This approach has been particularly successful in Sweden where the power distance between manager and team is small.