Leadership Development: A business imperative


Human Intelligent (HI) Workplace
Helping Leaders Help Themselves

May 7, 2015

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Peter F. Drucker

 Leadership Development

Studies continue to demonstrate that the main reason employees leave organization is due to poor management and lack of leadership (Branham, 2005). In a recent study (Gentry, Eckert, Stawski, & Zhao, 2013) 56% of organizations indicated the lack of leadership would impede organizational performance and 31% that the shortage of leaders will impact organizations in the next few years. Another bottom line implication is that organizations with top-tier leadership have up to 10% higher three-year total shareholder returns.

Many books have been written on leadership and that billions of dollars have been spent on leadership development programs. Yet in spite of this, the majority of people trust a stranger more then their boss. One of the reasons cited by David Rock that organizations fail is that they tend to hire and promote generations of managers with robust analytical skills and poor social skills and don’t seem to think it matters (Rock, 2013).

This is further reinforced by the fact that 89% of managers believe that employees leave organizations for more money while 12% of employees believe this. It has been estimated that 51% of the reasons why employees leave organizations is due to their managers. And this can occur while costing an organization 150% of an employee’s salary (Branham, 2005).

I’ve already mentioned the impact of leader-employee relationships and the impact to the bottom line of an organization. How this is managed can increasingly become a relevant issue especially for those managed virtually.

There was a recent article that highlighted the blend of male/female traits that effective leaders demonstrate. In the article “Between Mars and Venus” the author (Buchanan, 2013) makes the case that effective leaders demonstrate empathy, inclusiveness, vulnerability, generosity, humility, balance, and patience. I for one as I’ve conducted hundreds of leadership workshops over the last 30 years have always asked for characteristics of effective leaders and a couple of have come up continuously are communications and trust.

This provides organizations, especially leadership development professionals an opportunity to ensure there is proper development for their leadership cadre. This is particularly imperative when there is an increasing diverse workforce and a present large population getting ready to move on to retirement or another phase in their lives.

These changing and challenging times are increasing the need for a Network Leader. We are at a point where one possible consideration is for leaders to transition from the traditional Transactional and Transformational leader (Corporate Leadership Council, 2004). This is needed due to the increasing demands being placed on leaders to deliver faster results and increase in their interactions with others. This is occurring while only 32% of their organizations are satisfied with their senior leadership team (Garvin, 2013).

Now more then ever leadership development has become increasingly an important human capital initiative needed by organizations as part of their transformation and on-going growth. 

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