Successful Leadership Development

This blog piece continues the discussion around those factors that tend to lead to successful leadership development. And success is defined by permanent behavioural change in organisations and individuals that is consistent across the organisation. Here are a further six factors for you to take on board.

Models Are not the Defining Factor

My research indicates that it does not matter much what model of leadership you select. The people who market those models want you to believe that what they offer is completely different from anyone else. The truth is that the competencies are similar, and if you get people on the path towards leadership development, they will find what they need for their own purposes and move forward rapidly.

Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence Endure

Leaders need support as well as offering support to staff. There is an increasing body of research, which indicates that emotional intelligence and mindfulness development, can positively impact on an executive’s ability to deal with stress and cope with uncertainty.

Co-Creation is Vital

The leadership programme that is developed without any consultation whatsoever with the people on the receiving end, is far less likely to succeed than a similar programme which has done its homework. You should take your time to make sure that your conclusions are right and work with the participants to build the programme.

The Line Manager can make or break a programme

It is hard to deliver successful change in leadership practice without the active participation of the relevant line managers. It seems obvious, however, many programmes still assume that the line manager will offer some support without actually detailing what that support should be.

Learning should be part of the Workflow

It is clear from research undertaken by Charles Jennings, as well as his interventions in a large number of significant companies, that learning is reinforced by being part of the workflow, not outside it. Leadership is a critical area where learning in work, and learning as work, reinforces the formal structured learning that is delivered.

Individual change occurs when both the Group and the Organisation are involved

The idea that a leader is an island separate and self-contained is increasingly naive. All of the great thinkers on leadership talk about leading in context, and about followership. You have to develop leadership in organisations not just leaders.

This blog shares some of the conclusions from my book called: “Building Leadership Development Programmes: zero cost to high investment programmes that work” The book was published at the beginning of November 2016. For a 20% discount and free postage. please order from Kogan Page ( adding the discount code: FRIENDSOFNIGEL at checkout.

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