Leadership psychology suggests that leaders are born with specific skills rather than developing them. Some recent theories propose that possessing certain traits may help make people nature leaders, but that experience and situational variables also play a critical role. There are many theories about leadership. There is a historic school that looks at leadership in terms of traits/character of great individuals and therefore good leadership has to do with giving all the opportunities to these great people.
Humans to some extent are born with the capacity of leading and managing, but Learning & Development programme goals are to assist people to wake up the ‘leader’ within. It is an existential condition for an organisation to thrive and in particular in difficult the world context that we know today which is to be sustainable. Thus leadership development interventions can accelerate change in a massive way and very often allow for things that one might not have dreamt of at the start of an engagement.
Leadership development programmes usually address the precise mindset and behaviour level change, relevant to the individual’s job so the impact is personally felt, help them perform better at work and intensifies the organisation at a higher level. This can be seen via this illustration. Visual a football team with great players but they can easily be defeated if they do not work as a great team, fail to build on an individual’s strengths and help each other address their weaknesses. This is the basis of leadership development – taking great teams and making them even magnificent.
Leadership development programmes vitally need the following aspects to be significant:
- Contextual – Focus of leadership is to get people to act in a particular way
- Relevant – For adults to change their behaviour, it has to very substantial to their job scope
- Embedded – The programmes need to be inserted into the day-to-day work requirements
- Measurable – Statistics to validate programme significance – Pre Post Test, 360° Assessment
- Exploring Mindsets – If unsuccessful to get desired behaviour change, character building is vital
Character building is conceivable via shifting mindsets and answering Why leaders need to behave in a certain manner. As an analogy, acupuncture needles if plunged into the right nerve, actually help people develop their mindsets quicker. The first is the ability for leaders to align their professional with their purpose. The greater this is aligned, the higher the energy and determination are acquired. Next is reframing reality. Energy comes from recognizing strengths that can be amplified to seize opportunities and essentially leadership programmes help to reframe concrete situations. The third acupuncture needle is the ability to connect with mentors. As a fact, many leaders these days do not have mentors – as a role model and beacon of guidance. The fourth is assisting leaders to find the existing sources of energy in their teams. And the last is having the courage to stand for a cause as having bravery overcomes their fear. Therefore, the basic journey to becoming a leader requires:
Customised leadership programmes are meant to provide the set of tools and approaches that an organization requires. Behind the scenes are a very rigorous process which starts with a detailed diagnostic to understand the current context of where the participants are and what they lack. Next, the programme is designed all around the current versus the future state, the set of interventions delivered in the 3rd phase is based on the upfront diagnostic: a balanced set of forums, fieldwork and feedback. Lastly is to determine and sustain which happens throughout the programmes.
Leadership development is probably a higher return on investment than the usual organisation’s venture. However, organisations which invest in leadership development is part of any performance transformation are merely 2.5 times more likely to succeed (How to Beat the Transformation Odds, A survey conducted by McKinsey & Company in 2015). The results will be represented by the organisation’s business impact, higher revenues, lower cost, more innovation plus simultaneously with sturdier leadership.
Dr. Dayana N. H. Chaskar