Many organisations discount the importance of leadership development, assuming that their leaders either have what it takes or they don’t. However, there’s no such thing as a natural born leader, which is why leadership development is crucial to an organisation’s long term success.
As part of this process it is critical that organisations take into account the fundamental shift in the way a manager needs to think and act as they progress through their organisation into ever more responsible leadership positions.
For example, a manager may be promoted because he or she is a high performer – based on their current skills and behaviours, but fail to recognise what they need in the future – which may be quite different.
It is therefore important that organisations provide a ‘map’ for developing leaders tailored to meet the requirements of their organisation. It should chart the differences between job responsibilities for various levels of management role, the ideal leadership and thinking styles and related leadership development issues.
In this way even the most basic chart makes it clear for aspiring managers and leaders what will be expected of them in their next role and the challenges they will face. The chart can help managers see that relying on past successes and habits is no guarantee of future success.
But leadership development should not simply be seen in a one dimensional way. In any organisation, leaders have to work with other leaders and therefore must learn how to think and act like a team. For an organisation to run smoothly it’s essential that the leadership team is able to operate like a well oiled machine. Everyone needs to be aware of each others strengths, weaknesses and goals and able to work together to achieve success.
Therefore, for organisations to achieve long term success, they need to give due consideration to how they develop their leaders of tomorrow, not just as individuals but also as a team.