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How to Develop a Leadership Strategy for Business Success

Source | LinkedIn : By Kannan Shanmugam

Successful organizations develop explicit Leadership Strategies which are driven by the business strategy for bridging the gap between the current situation and the desired organizational success. The senior management likes to see the link between investments in leadership and business results.  So, the initiatives of leadership development strategy should support the business challenges related to talent management and succession planning.

The leadership is the key for organization’s success. Some of the big conglomerates like Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch faced problems because they failed to see the leadership development as an integral part of the overall talent management. Organizations face various challenges to develop and implement effective leadership strategy. Most of the organizations focus on the development of high potential senior managers only. Indead, they do not give priority in developing leadership skills of all potential employees.

Why leadership development efforts fail?

  • CEO and Senior Leaders are not spending quality time to develop the future leaders.
  • Leadership development plan is not aligned with strategic priorities.
  • Leadership development strategy doesn’t specify the right L&D approach for leaders.
  • Assuming that one size fits all and implementing the same Program for all leaders.
  • Becoming complacent with current training programs.

The main objective of Leadership strategy is to evolve potential executives into better leaders for organizational success. Organizations consider robust learning opportunities including coaching, mentoring, simulations, work assignments, online learning, certifications, and structured programs.

“We realize effective leadership development takes time and planning. We consider the changing demands of the marketplace and other factors when designing our development programs that challenge employees to grow and share responsibility for their own opportunities. The overall investment for developing our people is actually higher than our estimate—it does not take into account intangible leadership development initiatives like mentoring, coaching, and lateral job assignments.” – Anne Schwartz, Vice-President, Learning & Development, UPS

Developing a Leadership Strategy

Holistic approach with long-term perspective should be followed for designing the leadership strategy, such as linking with business strategy and estimated business outcomes, understanding leadership culture and values, executive engagement, etc. The development strategy should include various learning initiatives like structured programs, special assignments, executive development, coaching and mentoring, networking/relationship building, conference and events, blended learning opportunities, etc.

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