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Why Invest in Leadership Development

By Bisk
Why Invest in Leadership Development

Leadership development programs are crucial to the lasting success of every organization. It’s essential to invest in your people to develop expertise and prepare the next generation of leaders.

One goal of a leadership development program is to create leaders with a broader vision of the company. While a person may shine as a potential leader in a current role, a well-rounded knowledge of the entire company is needed to succeed in a high-level leadership position.

Leadership development and training are two aspects of a job desired by Millennials, workers organizations will eventually turn to when seeking future leaders.

Developing leaders can take years and organizations need to begin planning what type of leaders will be required to fill the line of succession as current leaders leave or retire.

Organizations cannot afford to avoid developing and grooming leaders. The costs of poor leadership can be felt through employee turn-over, lack of engagement, failed tasks and dissatisfied customers.

Elements of a Leadership Development Program

The Wall Street Journal notes that it’s typically more cost effective to develop existing employees into tomorrow’s leaders than hire from outside the company. Creating a leadership development program gives companies a way to turn high-performing employees into future leaders. Some elements of a leadership development program include:

  • Job Rotation: Expose participants to new areas of the company by giving them first-hand experience in a variety of roles.
  • Stretch Assignments: These exercises are designed to induce growth by encouraging employees to develop skills well beyond their comfort levels. Results include increased confidence, greater commitment to the organization and an enhanced skill set.
  • Mentoring: Assign an older, more accomplished employee to assist in developing the skills of a younger, less-experienced worker.
  • Veterans’ Advice: Veteran employees have years of on-the-job experience that need to be shared with younger workers, even if the older employees have retired. Consider inviting them back to work as a contractor on projects to work with potential future leaders.

Why Character Really Matters in a Leadership Role

When it comes to choosing a good leader, character plays a huge role in whether the person is right for the job. While it’s undeniably important that leaders have the proper skills and commitment to succeed, they also must embrace the values, traits, and virtues that align with the company.

Character is typically the most difficult feature to gauge with varied definitions. The character of a leader can essentially make or break a company, as it can have a great influence on the decision-making process.

For example, character, or lack of it, played a major role in the 2008-09 financial crisis as many leaders did not have the courage to speak up when they realized their company was involved in risky transactions, while others did not possess the integrity to care about the consequences of these actions.

Current leadership can play an active part in developing the character of potential leaders by being role models who reflect the organization’s values through example. Even simply talking about character and values reinforces their importance.

Every organization needs to invest in a leadership development program to groom the leaders of tomorrow. It’s important to remember that the most effective leaders don’t develop their skills overnight ─ they’re the result of years of hard work and training.

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Category: Leadership and Management