Leadership Development, Developing Building Learning Leadership Skills

Leadership Development, Developing Building Learning Leadership Skills

Leadership is vital for any organization’s sustained success. A great leader at top makes a big difference to his or her organization. Everyone will concur with these statements. Experts in human resources field mention the importance of leaders at all levels, and not just that of the leadership at the top. It is not without reason that companies like 3M, Proctor & Gamble, GE, Coca Cola; HSBC etc. have known to put in place processes for developing leaders continuously.

Mention this subject, however, to a line manager, or to a sales manager, or any executive in most organizations and you will probably deal with diffident responses.

Leadership development -a strategic need?

The subject of leadership is dealt with in a general way by many organizations. Leadership is usually understood in terms of personal attributes such as charisma, communication, inspiration, dynamism, toughness, instinct, etc., and not in terms what good leaders can do for their organizations.  Developing leaders falls in HR domain. Budgets are framed and outlays are used with indicators like training hours per employee per year. Whether the good intentions behind the training budgets get translated into actions or not, is not monitored.

Such leadership development outlays that are based on only good intentions and general ideas about leadership get axed in bad times and get extravagant during good times. If having great or good leaders at all levels is a strategic need, as the above top companies demonstrate and as many leading management experts assert, why do we see such a stop and go approach?

Why is there skepticism about leadership development programs?

The first reason is that expectations from good (or great) leaders are not defined in operative terms and in ways in which the outcomes can be verified. Leaders are expected to achieve’ many things. They are expected to turn laggards into high performers, turn around companies, charm customers, and dazzle media. They are expected to perform miracles. These expectations remain just wishful thinking. These desired outcomes can not be used to provide any clues about gaps in leadership skills and development needs.


Absence of a comprehensive and generic (valid in diverse industries and conditions) framework for defining leadership means that leadership development effort are scattered and inconsistent in nature. Inconsistency gives bad name to leadership development programs. This breeds cynicism (these fads come and go….) and resistance to every new initiative. This is the second reason why the objectives of leadership development are often not met.

The third reason is in the methods used for leadership development. Leadership development programs rely upon a combination of lectures (e.g. on subjects like team building, communications), case studies, and group exercises (problem solving), and some inspirational talks by top business leaders or management gurus.

Sometimes the programs consist of outdoor or adventure activities for helping people bond better with each other and build better teams. These programs generate ‘feel good’ effect and in some cases participants ‘return’ with their personal action plans. But in majority of cases they fail to capitalize on the efforts that have gone in. I must mention leadership coaching in the passing. In the hands of an expert coach a willing executive can improve his leadership skills dramatically. But leadership coaching is too expensive and inaccessible for most executives and their organizations.

Leadership -a competitive advantage

During my work as a business leader and later as a leadership coach, I found that it is useful to define leadership in operative terms. When leadership is defined in terms of what it does and in terms of capabilities of a person, it is easier to assess and develop it.

When leadership skills defined in the above manner are present at all levels, they impart a distinct capability to an organization. This capability gives a competitive advantage to the organization. Organizations with a pipeline of good leaders have competitive advantages over other organizations, even those with great leaders only at the top. The competitive advantages are:

1. They (the organizations) are able to solve problems quickly and can recover from mistakes fast.

2. They have excellent horizontal communications. Things (processes) move faster.

3. They tend to be less busy with themselves. Therefore they have ‘time’ for outside people. (Over 70% of internal communications are about reminders, error corrections etc . They are wasteful)

4. Their staff (indirect) productivity is high. This is one of the toughest management challenges.

5. They are good at heeding to signals related to quality, customer complaints, shifts in market conditions and customer preferences. This leads to good and useful bottom-up communication. Top leaders tend to have less number of blind spots in such organizations.

6. It is easier to roll out programs for strategic shift and also for improving business processes (using Six Sigma, TQM, etc.). Good bottom-up communications improve top-down communications too.

7. They require less ‘supervision’, since they are strongly rooted in values.

8. They are better at preventing catastrophic failures.

Expectations from good and effective leaders should be set out clearly. The leadership development programs should be selected to develop leadership skills that can be verified in operative terms. Since leadership development is a strategic need, there is a need for clarity about the above aspects.

Hemant Karandikar advises companies on business & brand strategy, on business transformation, and for achieving breakthroughs in business processes. He leverages this expertise in product creation projects for companies along with his design associates. He coaches business leaders and executives for developing leadership skills. Hemant founded Exponient Consulting and Learning Leadership.

Previously, Hemant was Managing Director, GWT Global Weighing (now Sartorius Mechatronics) and held position of General Manager at Philips India. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India.

For Onsite and online coaching for leadership development, please visit http://www.learning-leadership.com/

Article from articlesbase.com

An interview with Daniel Goleman, Psychologist. See how you can use emotional and social intelligence to improve your own and your organization’s performance.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

24 Comments to “Leadership Development, Developing Building Learning Leadership Skills”

  1. Great video! I think leadership definitely begins by improving oneself, both by addressing weaknesses & streamlining strengths. How can we inspire followership if we aren’t inspired enough to build ourselves from within humbly & sensibly? We have to start at the beginning, that is, true self-esteem (Not vain-glorious self-promotion). Now, how do we get there? Well, the only way is through self-knowledge & personal growth. Visit QuLearn’s channel for an exploration of these & other topics. Thanks

  2. @berner just being brutally honest… then who would the leaders lead?

  3. I believe that all children should be taught leadership from the age of 8.

  4. 08:25 the difference between social & emotional intelligence

  5. If only it were this simple! I work from home and actually do make good money but I work hard. If anyone is interested in a REAL opportunity to make good money by working hard then join my team! Just email me: foster_236@hotmail.com or skype me for a chat on: anthony62155.

  6. @NiScontex “social life”.. you thought of this while you were writing? 🙂

  7. It is definately all theory, a little of it if any at all goes on in real life, at least thats what I’ve noticed. Every workplace I’ve been too, the managers and supervisors were all obsessed about keeping their own jobs demanding that everybody underneath them work like slaves, the venom and poison in the work environment got too much for them, so they needed a way to get rid of it. The employers started hiring “TEMP workers”, they abuse them and get rid of them, they treat tem like garbage.

  8. “herb halihuh” who??????????

  9. Wanna step up to authentic leadership? The next level in Business Leadership.
    Pls also watch the Interview of Fresh Ideas with Chuck Spezzano abouth the Leadership Revolution in Business. “fresh.ideas.tv”

  10. “real” pleasure..

  11. @jamel11234 “the idealistic qualities propagated by leadership development courses are ambitious theories at best…”

    Idealism is the force holding it all together. Were it not for idealism, outright, unabashed cynicism would lead to chaos. Do the demands and challenges of the world provide for a less than ideal reality? Of course, but ideals are what keep most people from feeling the urge to kill their neighbor over a dispute (and fear of repercussions works when ideals break down).

  12. Makes me think about all the criminals, violent people and terrorists . Whatever happened to their emotional intelligence ? Is it really about emotional intelligence ?

  13. The speaker isn’t speaking clearly enough for me. 🙁

  14. @TooMuchGass true you can’t .. and noone should repress that – that would be nice!

  15. Many thanks to the psychologist. Valuable information!

  16. both the speakers in this promo are used car sales men. Stop waste of such valuable air…! Laughing

  17. Hey everyone search for “Innovative Systems” on facebook and like the page. We need support and we need to show our school numbers!! It has over 1,100 likes already. Check out our website at innovativesystems [dot] siu [dot] edu

  18. A very good social networking group gretto good wishes

  19. thanks for this video. at least i learned something from other people… growing.. never learned like this in my life.. school… now that i am working.. i want to have this kind of skills to performed best in my working life.. and ordinary life as well.. thanks…

  20. I cant deny my hatred for higher intelligence

  21. @robotpanda77 Im not done- now you say “they take and maintain Power because others give it- which is it you troll? Do they take it or do others give it. IF you are worth the sperm your dad wasted on you, you will admit your belief: that your heros “take” THEREFORE ML King, etc are the ones “given” Power. As far as titles go Your group had to GIVE THEMSELVES these titles & force historians to record them this way to present a “noble” legacy. Look, I carved you up enough, just die already…

  22. @19zxcvbnm19 How much of a fucking idiot are you? I said tv disproved the desire for approval of kind people. I am not saying these Kings ARE great I am talking about titles they were given such as Richard the Great and how they obtained these titles through murder and not through being nice guys. Can you not grasp such simple concepts? How can you hope to be an Alpha if you lie to yourself about the world and can’t understand basic English? Those who cherish goodness ARE the betas.

  23. @robotpanda77 Good for you! keep changing what you “really” mean. You start by attacking kindness, then you say tv proves it, then I explained to you how those you listed had the aggressive Alpha qualities YOU said defined the alpha- “aggressive social behaviours – not necessarily violence”… That means then your category of “King and Great” were never violent? Grow up kid,you are a hypocrite, The bottom line You: 1) fear death 2)care what society thinks, 3) are not in my .league 4)a beta male

  24. @19zxcvbnm19 I’m talking about sociological leaders, the kind discussed in the video. Having a popular comedy shitcom doesn’t qualify Seinfeld to be a politician or a general. No Alpha has magic powers. They take and maintain power because others give it to them. If Alphas were not respected they could not exist. Take any ancient King or leader named “the Great” or so on. How do you think they got that title? Hugs and kisses? That is a WAR title. Guaranteed.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.