What is leadership development?

Now that’s a very good question. There are plenty of books and articles about what leadership is, but there aren’t that many about what leadership development is. Now, I’m not the final word, but this is my take on it.

For starters, I’ll tell you what leadership development isn’t. It’s not an event. That’s something I see all too often in the business community.

When I ask clients: “What commitment have you made to developing your leaders?” They answer: “We’ve got an away day, a team building day, a couple of workshops. We’ve got somebody coming in for two or three days in the classroom.”

That is leadership training. It is not leadership development.

Leadership development is an ongoing process. It might take three months. It might take twelve. It might take two or three years. It all depends on the level and type of development you’re looking for.

We are all conditioned people, we are creatures of habit and we have built our leadership skills up over many years. Changing behaviour permanently takes time, therefore any change and, ultimately, improvement in leadership, is going to be a step-by-step process, over time.

From my perspective, leadership development is:

  • Working with people who are currently in a leadership role.
  • Helping them to improve on a day-to-day basis.
  • Working within their specific area of leadership responsibility. – Working over a significant period of time.

In answering this question I hope to have given you some insight. If you are looking for a quick fix or a spike in performance, I’m not the person to talk to. If you’re looking for an ongoing commitment to longer term leadership development of your people, I’d very much like to have a conversation.

I hope this has given you some insight and answered your question. If it hasn’t, ask your question in the form and I will answer with a personalised video within 24 hours.

Got a question?