HR Issues, Leadership/Management, Team Member Engagement

Leadership Development Best Practices

by Caug124

March 18th, 2010

It can be hard to develop strong leaders in the workplace. While it may feel like skipping leadership development programs and just giving the position to the best performing person in the department is the easy solution, this is rarely the best idea. Here are a few things that will help as you design your own leadership development program.

The first thing you will want to remember as you develop your program is to get the highest executives involved in the program. With them involved you can guarantee some of the other advice will happen, as well as making sure that the program will be highly regarded by those interested in moving up the ladder. As you start, consult with the highest management to determine what values should be upheld in these trainings. The first value you need to define and decide on is “What is leadership competency?” This is tricky, and there are many values involved in this, but a leadership development program that has these clearly defined will produce better leadership than one that hasn’t.

The next set of values that should be explored comes from making sure that the program is in alignment with the business strategy. This is one of those things that the top management can ensure. Leadership is more than managing employees and as a person moves up the ladder they are less likely to be directing a small group of people and instead to be directing people on how to direct their people. Make sure that the upcoming leadership is trained in business specific skills.

Make sure when you are done developing the plan that it is not just a teacher and student scenario. This training should not take a weekend, but should be part of everyday practice. Participants should be assigned developmental assignments, external education, and as it heads up the ladder it should also include meetings with international counterparts and full assessments of abilities. This makes both your program and your management stronger.

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  1. Guy Farmer /

    Great information. I’ve also found it helpful to create a culture (from the top down, as you’ve indicated) of building up people. This means giving people the opportunity to do what they excel at and explore new leadership possibilities based on their talents and abilities. Developing leaders is sometimes about allowing people to do what they do best and then applying those skills to helping the company succeed rather than trying to fit someone into an existing box.