Having an ineffective leader in the wrong place at the right time can break an organization.
Research repeatedly shows that organizations that invest in leadership development perform better than those that do not. Research also shows that while many organizations identify developing leaders as a top priority many executives are not happy with their existing development programs.
In a 2016 survey by Borderless nearly 60% of the 1000 executives surveyed are dissatisfied with their organization’s investment in leadership development activities, an more that 54% describe their programs as ineffective. How can this be?
Roles of a Leader and Guiding Principles
Despite all the ways organizations define leadership and the plethora of leaderships models, we at KPC have identified five central themes to leadership:
Leadership is a process
Leadership involves influence
Leadership occurs in groups
Leadership involves common goals
Leadership must be appropriate for the organizational level in which it operates
Leadership then, is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal using approaches appropriate to the operational environment. How does a successful leader operate within these themes - the same way great leaders have always done so - by integrating three overarching roles through alignment with three guiding principles.
Three Overarching Roles of a Leader
Three Guiding Principles of Leadership
We find that leaders develop best when they can leverage their natural talents, acquire key experiences and focus their development through the right coaching and experience. This approach to development ensures that leadership strength is built for your organization now and into the future. Many leadership development programs focus only on training.
At KPC we have designed our Key Leadership™ and our 21st Century Leadership™ programs to help organizations improve their capability across the leadership spectrum based on their needs. Too many development initiatives rest on the assumption that one size fits all and that the same group of skills or style of leadership is appropriate regardless of strategy, operating environment, and organizational culture - this is simply not true.
We believe that when an organization identifies and develops the leadership capabilities essential for success in its operating environment—such as relationship building, high-quality decision making or stronger coaching skills—it achieves far better outcomes. These capabilities are dependent on the leader’s role and operational focus.
Through assessment, interviews, and evidence we scientifically identify talents, determine the experiences most important to the development of current and potential leaders, and create coaching programs for leaders at all stages of their career. By working closely with an organization we can help identify the critical few leadership competencies needed at each level of leadership and operational focus in your organization. And then create and deliver a customized, experiential development program that measurably changes leaders’ behavior and mindsets. We do this while adhering to four guidelines:
A leader’s self-knowledge is key to meaningful and sustained change.
Leadership development tends to happen at the leader/follower interface.
Leaders must be committed to life-time learning.
Everything a leader does happens in the context organizational goals.
Our approach helps take the guess work out of leadership development and helps you avoid the most common mistakes in leadership development. We increase the odds of your success by matching leadership skills to the work at hand; embedding leadership development in real work; fearlessly investigating the mindsets that underpin behavior; and monitoring the impact to sustain behavior changes over time.
Developing your leaders is probably the most important thing you can do for your organization. Let us help you unlock your leaders' potential.