Leadership Development

Leadership development refers to any activity that enhances the quality of leadership within an individual or organization. These activities have ranged from MBA style programs offered at university business schools to action learning, high-ropes courses and executive retreats.

Traditionally, leadership development has focused on developing the leadership abilities and attitudes of individuals.

Just as people are not all born with the ability or desire to play football (soccer) like Zinedine Zidane or sing like Luciano Pavarotti, people are not all born with the ability to lead. Different personal traits and characteristics can help or hinder a person’s leadership effectiveness and require formalized programs for developing leadership competencies  Yet everyone can develop their leadership effectiveness. Achieving such development takes focus, practice and persistence more akin to learning a musical instrument than reading a book.

The success of leadership development efforts has been linked to three variables:

  • Individual learner characteristics
  • The quality and nature of the leadership development program
  • Genuine support for behavioral change from the leader’s supervisor

Development is also more likely to occur when the design of the development program

Among key concepts in leadership development one may find:

  • Experiential learning: positioning the individual in the focus of the learning process, going through the four stages of experiential learning as formulated by David A. Kolb: 1. concrete experience 2. observation and reflection 3. forming abstract concept 4. testing in new situations.
  • Self efficacy: The right training and coaching should bring about ‘Self efficacy’ in the trainee, as Albert Bandura formulated: A person’s belief about his capabilities to produce effects
  • Visioning: Developing the ability to formulate a clear image of the aspired future of an organization unit.

A good personal leadership development program should enable you to develop a plan that helps you gain essential leadership skills required for roles across a wide spectrum from a youth environment to the corporate world.