Leadership Development

Leading an organization means guiding its resources for better efficiency. The key to being an effective leader is to have a clear purpose, motivate people, and guide the organization to get things done. Whether you’re in a leadership position or not, you can make your company’s goals more meaningful if you know how to lead.

People develop their leadership skills so they can be more effective at work. Leaders build alignment, win mindshare, and develop other people’s skills so an organization can succeed.

Role Of A Leader In Crafting A Shared Vision

The Work of Leaders by Julie Straw and colleagues discusses three steps of leadership – crafting a vision, aligning the team, and championing execution. The purpose of this article is to discuss the importance of not only crafting a shared vision, but also the role of a leader in this process.

To begin with, people prefer their leaders to be forward-looking and futuristic, as well as credible and trustworthy. A person must work in the present and focus on the future in order to achieve extraordinary things. Throughout history, all things have been created twice, once in the mind and once in reality. Leadership requires continuous vision of new products, services, and business ecosystems that can propel an organization toward success. Leaders need to focus on creating long-term value for the organization and its customers. However, they should also focus on delivering results in the present. Leadership involves providing meaning and purpose to an organization through a focus on the future in order to inspire its people to work hard and bind them together. Leaders create a sense of shared vision through continuous pursuit of clarity of vision and enlisting others.

A shared vision can be created based on motivation theories. Motivation can be classified into two types – extrinsic and intrinsic. External motivation is attributed to the external environment, such as getting rewarded or having to achieve certain goals set by others. In some cases, external motivation leads to compliance, while in other cases it leads to defiance. When externally controlled individuals cease to receive rewards, they may cease to make efforts. Motivating oneself through extrinsic factors is difficult. In contrast, intrinsic motivation refers to what one wishes to accomplish on a personal level. Rather than being dictated and controlled by others, internal motivation is driven by our own interests, passions, and desires. Having tangible rewards gives us the tenacity to persevere in difficult circumstances and work hard. The leadership role plays on the intrinsic motivation of people by enlisting them in the process of creating a shared vision. Leaders create a rich environment that promotes employee engagement and performance by offering a shared vision that inspires everyone. As a leader, one of the most important roles in creating a shared vision is to enthuse internal motivation in the people and to build consensus among them.

Self-Reflection

It’s important to do some self-reflection and articulate your likes, passions, interests and inspirations as much as possible when crafting a vision. The process of envisioning is more art than science, more emotional than a series of activities, so figure out what drives and inspires you. Leaders should not just self-reflect, but also encourage their team to do the same.

Direction

It is possible to arrive at certain themes or directions that define the overall shared vision by engaging with the larger team, where everyone shares values, inspirations, perspectives, questions, hopes, and dreams. Role of a leader is in engaging the leadership team in a structured process of deriving these idea directions.

Hindsight

Past provides a great way to start looking into the future. It is filled with experiences, data, perspectives, reality and most importantly learning. It gives a picture of what is possible and how long does it take for you as a company to do something new. It provides a good view of what can go wrong as well. While the past does not always portray the future possibilities of an organization, it provides a good way to extrapolate the success and assess what an organization may achieve. The role of a leader is in engaging the leadership team in a systematic process of sharing the highs and lows about the past and arriving at the key learnings form the past.

Present

By assessing the current business ecosystem, leaders can enable the creation of a shared vision. Recent research and surveys involve understanding how the organization creates value for its customers, what the current capability and shortcomings are and how people feel working in the organization. The juice of assessing, reflecting and articulating the current state of the organization is in knowing what must change and what must be preserved in the future.

Imagining the future

Imagine a bold future as the final step in creating a shared vision, which the leader must lead. A future that takes into account the evolving market situation, trends and patterns in customer purchasing behavior, technological advancements, and disruptive trends. The role of the leader is to provide the team with an environment in which they can share their vision without fear of losing credibility.

Train Leaders at Workplace

A leader’s role is to craft the vision and in turn facilitate the execution of the same by aligning business goals to the overall mission and vision of the organization

A leadership training program is an incentive that the company invests in to retain and maintain its leadership resources.

A study by the Center for Creative Leadership holds that 65 percent of companies with mature leadership development programs drove improved business results as compared to 6 percent of companies without such a program.

In the past decade there has been a rise in the training for C-level employees. Traditionally the training for leaders was focused on developing the individual leadership capabilities. With time, companies have realized that the success of any leadership development program is dependent on factors like-

  1. Individual learner characteristics
  2. Quality and nature of the leadership development program
  3. Support for behavioral change from the leader’s supervisor

Considering the chock-a-block calendars that the leaders may have, they need to be trained using a blended approach that incorporates various delivery methods like eLearning, podcasts, classroom training and coaching. A classroom training may not always be the most effective way of training these folks, they will need multiple learning nuggets like one-one coaching, stretch assignments, industry speaker sessions., mentoring and hands-on experience   Typically the duration of leadership training programs is longer- and may range for a month or year. While most companies outsource their leadership trainings, most of them conduct them internally since for leaders the organizational context is critical.

For leaders, a one-size fits all approach can’t be applied. There needs to be openness when it comes to deciding the modes of learnings. Since each to-be leader possess different behavioral strengths, it is essential we always tweak the context to their benefit.

Listed below are the benefits of having a leadership development program-

  1. Shapes the company culture – The way you treat your employees speak volumes of the kind of organization you are in. When the company invests in your well-being and personal development, the employees then take this seriously and take steps to ensure the company succeeds in the endeavors it undertakes
  2. Retains the employees- Once the organization has identified the future leaders, it aids the company to invest in them and thereby creating the next set of leaders

Often leadership trainings without context and relevance can be an utter waste of resources, here are challenges faced in delivering a leadership development training

  1. Measuring the impact of any leadership training is always going to be difficult. Sudden behavioral changes are not expected. It takes time for the learning to settle. However, there can regular follow up sessions to ensure the sustenance of learning
  2. If there is no strategic alignment with respect to the learning intervention and business goals, the entire effort can be worthless. It is essential for brainstorming to happen at the inception of the program so that the program agenda delivers and fulfills the ultimate purpose
  3. The biggest challenge for leaders to remain engaged is ‘What is in it for me’. This question can be addressed by taking the participants along while creating the program, co-creation of the learning journey makes it relevant and there is greater leadership buy-in.

Leadership effectiveness is one of the most common aspects that organizations want to keep addressing. Hence a well-planned intervention with smaller learning nuggets are the key to development. Reportedly, companies spend over $1.5 million just on external leadership courses in 2016. This makes it more important to invest in relevant and effective leadership training.

Leadership Style and Gender

Do men and women differ in their leadership styles?

Gender differences in communication style have resulted in differences in leadership style of men and women. To avoid stereotypes, it is good to emphasize right at the beginning that research has increasingly proven that while there are behavioural differences between men and women due to the various factors that include physiological and environmental, it is important to note that there are equally significant differences among women themselves or men themselves. And therefore, any gender difference must be viewed with due disclaimers and after considering distortions and deletions that usually accompany any form of stereotyping.

Because there are some differences in the communication needs and purpose for men and women, their influencing style is different and therefore the model of leadership used to view their respective leadership traits must also be different. With factors like culture, social roles, and situations playing a major role in one’s leadership expression, it is important to not take any “one size fits all” approach to leadership. Also, when assessing leadership style, it is important to consider the gender of the leader and the follower both as the communication style of the leader may differ based on the gender of the follower.

As per neuroscience, women usually have higher oxytocin levels than men. That is why, women more caring at work. They tend to be worried about their co-worker’s wellbeing and wish to connect with them at the personal level. Also, women’s brains are better evolved for expressing emotions. Therefore, they come across more warm and friendly at workplace.

Men on the other hand focus on rewards and in establishing dominance, which is why they prefer the performance-oriented leadership style. With a lower predisposition to express emotions, they feel uncomfortable in effusive situations. They also have greater vulnerability to fears. Women too are focus on rewards however job satisfaction, finding meaning and a feeling of self-worth may serve as better rewards for them. That is why, men seem to be better at branding themselves and in managing the optics around their performance whereas women are more likely to be silent about their accomplishments.

With a difference in the leadership style (Catalyst, 2005), it is only obvious to assume that the occupational fitment for both men and women may differ. With relationship-oriented leadership style, women tend to be better at tasks related to human resources and public relations whereas men with their task-oriented leadership style may be better in tasks and jobs related to sales and general management. It is important to not be judgemental or competitive about the differences. In fact, in most situations these differences, that stem from different communication and leadership style, can have a complementary effect when applied properly. Neither men or women are better leaders – their approach may be somewhat different and therefore the effectiveness of the leadership style needs to be viewed against the situation rather than the gender.

While there is some research to show gender differences in leadership style, it is important to note that these gender differences are fluid and differ from culture to culture. It is best to overcome the notion that men and women have gender divergent leadership styles in all situations. It is important not to take these differences as gospel truth. Leadership style is best viewed from a situational perspective rather than gender perspective.

Women in Leadership

It is regrettable that we are still discussing women’s representation in senior leadership roles in 2022, considering them to be an integral part of a “diverse” culture. By now, all plans to include members of other diverse groups in senior positions should have been implemented. Despite some gains in this race, most organizations still lag behind.

Some time ago, Strengthscape conducted a LinkedIn poll on “What do you consider to be the most significant barrier to women in leadership?”

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6757554788692504576

From the 85 responses, 47% cited Gender Disparity practices as a primary reason for the barrier, and over 44% mentioned Social Structure as a significant factor.

In about 317 companies and close to 40,000 respondents, a McKinsey report titled Women in the Workplace 2020 found that a disproportionate number of women, especially of colour, will be laid off during the COVID-19 crisis, thereby jeopardizing their careers and finances. It is estimated that one out of four women are considering downshifting their careers or departing the workforce altogether due to the lack of external support available to them to deal with the “double shifts” already performed by women in the workforce.

As stated in the same McKinsey report, it was found that out of 100 men promoted to managers, only 85 women were promoted, and this disparity was even greater for some women. This led to a significant gender gap among entry-level managers at the beginning of 2020, with women holding only 38 percent of positions, and men holding 62 percent. Even though this is the sixth year in a row that women and women of colour are under-represented in senior management, this cannot be attributed to attrition alone.

Today’s society is still largely influenced by gendered behaviors and values taught since childhood. In a family setting, women need to speak softly and not raise their voices, while men are expected to resolve conflict and issues upfront. There is a comment made when these women are considered for management positions, which is “she will not be very strict or upfront; she will have a harder time telling other people what to do or they will lose their job.”. Do we not teach these lessons to young girls and women at an early age?

Women are further prevented from participating in the workforce because of the social pressure of “being a mother” or “getting married soon”. The situation is by no means prevalent in the countryside and the villages (as some may suggest), but rather is a widely reported reality amongst the educated urban community. Women are more likely to leave their jobs or reject promotions when such circumstances arise.

The primary caregivers are women, while men are the primary breadwinners. Such an argument can cause many dreams to be shattered. Motivation and the love of dreams can also be acquired through practice. Furthermore, it is asserted that these values and behaviors are detrimental not only to women as individuals, but also to society. The lack of representation of women in senior leadership positions can be attributed largely to the practices of gender disparity, particularly those emanating from social structures and social learning (the defined roles of men and women.

A total of 6% of the votes were cast in favor of Professional Competency and 4% were cast in favor of Less suitable opportunities. Does inadequate professional capability really account for women’s inability to advance in their careers to senior leadership positions? Perhaps our perspective needs to be reframed.

Although there may be some who contend that things have changed, or that our perspectives have changed, or that the picture is incomplete, let us consider a few points:

  • Our own learned behaviors can lead us to be biased
  • Our perspectives are shaped by the privileges we may enjoy. Our experiences may limit our perspectives. Privilege and power both inhibit our ability to see the true nature of reality.
  • There is a possibility that women, too, may believe that they lack the necessary credentials for leadership roles due to a lack of professional competence. They may simply be unaware of their level of incompetence, or they may also believe that they are not competent enough, a condition often known as “imposter syndrome.”
  • The practice of women being represented in leadership is not balanced – regardless of the “diversity number” in the room, women should be represented solely based on their “competence”
  • Even though things have significantly changed over the years, the fact that we are still debating the issue of women’s participation in leadership positions is evidence that we still have a great deal of work to do

For issues such as this to be addressed properly, we must take a balanced approach and, above all, set aside our own ill-informed opinions and biases and begin to see the situation objectively.

The first step of change is to become aware of the underlying causes leading to the lack of representation. According to Sheryl Sandberg, “We cannot change what we do not know, and once we know, we cannot help but change.” The subsequent steps will follow.

Skills to include in a leadership development program

According to Harvard Business Publishing Research, majority of the organizations have leadership program but only 7% describe their program as “best in class”. This statistic tells us that many leadership programs are not helping either the leader or the organization. Making a great leadership program starts with provide leaders with the best skills and behavior. They would use these skills to confidently lead the team and drive the performance for the organization. Here are 5 skills which should be included in a leadership development program.

  1. Coaching

Coaching is the best way leaders can use to utilize the full potential of their team members. Moments of coaching happen every day, and a leader with strong leadership skills would fully utilize the moment and make them valuable learning experience. As per the Gallup research, there are only 3 out of 10 employees who feel that they are encouraged for their development. This skill would positively enhance employee’s productivity. By providing team member feedback and guidance, leaders are encouraging them to perform better.

  1. Accountability

Leaders know that their success depends more on their team’s performance than on their own. Leaders are not anymore individual contributors and they will not be evaluated that way. They are accountable for their team’s performance as well as their own and they must take responsible for their team’s outcome. By making the leaders learn about accountability, you can ensure that they can hold direct commitments to their team members. Through this everyone can succeed and produce the result that they want.

  1. Change management

An organization cannot be static in time. Employee turnover, changes in marketplace, company growth and countless other factors contribute to continuing changes. If the changes feel like a tidal wave to employees, leaders must be ready to guide them from the changes. This would require training the leaders in managing change even before it occurs. Change management training should be part of all leadership programs.

  1. Influence and Negotiation

Effective leaders inspire and persuade others to make the vision a reality. By learning how to be strong influencers they will know that it is not about who has the best power but who has more influencing power to achieve the result. Rather than asking the employees to do something with authority, leaders should build relationships with employees. That would be a win-win and would lead to completed projects and delivered results.

  1. Communication

Communication is not a skill which leaders would get just by reading or watching a presentation about it. In a leadership role, communication happens at all hours of the day. However, it is not a new skill for leadership development, communication needs to be optimized in order to achieve the goals of the organization.

Bridging the gap between excellent leadership and where you are now, requires a fresh approach in training and development. Look for company-specific challenges and need of today’s leaders. As for inputs from current leaders to create a leadership development program that is successful for everyone involved.

Leadership Assessments

Leadership Development is a key focus area for any L&D function. Effective leadership translates into better business results, more cohesive organization, and effective business adaptability. It is therefore important to ensure that leadership strengths are effectively leveraged, and challenges are addressed through development initiatives like training and coaching. The first step in leadership development is to understand leaders better – what drives them, their strengths, and challenges and perception of others about the leadership inventory. This is where psychometric assessments for leaders play a key role.

Everything DiSC by Wiley has a suite of leadership assessments on 4 key leadership perspectives – business, interpersonal, intrapersonal and team. 3 different psychometric assessments by Wiley aid in understanding these leadership perspectives.

  1. Everything DiSC Work of Leaders – The Everything DiSC Work of Leaders uses the DiSC Model and the VAE framework to enable leaders to understand their leadership preferences, strengths and challenges and also identify where the leader stands with respect to leadership best practices. The assessment is based on 4 years of research by Julie Straw and colleagues on 300 leaders across 150 organizations. The assessment defines leadership as a one-to-many relationship which follows a 3-step process of:
    1. Crafting a Vision
    2. Building Alignment
    3. Championing Execution

Each step of the leadership process has 3 drives and 2 behavioral best practices. The assessment helps leaders in identifying their DiSC style. This enables them to understand their leadership preferences, strengths and challenges. The VAE Model and associated behavioral best practices provide specific insights into where each leader stands vis-a-vis global leadership best practies. This help leaders create a development plan.

The Work of Leaders is a valuable psychometric assessment to use for leaders in business workshops as it helps with effective Vision, Alignment and Execution. It also provides key insights for intrapersonal effectiveness.

  1. Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders – The second leadership assessment by Wiley is the 363 for Leaders. This is a 360° survey that gives valuable feedback to leaders on 8 leadership dimensions and their associated practices. The survey takes inputs from self, direct reports, manager, peers and others. This helps leaders in identifying how their leadership style is perceived by various stakeholders. An analysis of self vs others feedback is provided to identify gaps in the leadership brand. The assessment is based on the DiSC Model however the results focus on the leadership dimensions instead of the individual DiSC style of the leader. The survey is called a 363 instead of 360 since it provides 3 strategies for improvement. The assessment also comes with features like Comment Smart that allows raters to provide constructive feedback on practices they would want to leader to display more often or less often. The positive language makes the survey development focused.

The 363 for Leaders is a great to tool for improving the leadership inventory of the leader by taking into account perception of key stakeholders. At the same time, it provides key insights to improve interpersonal relationships and the leadership brand of the leader.

  1. Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team – The third leadership assessment by Wiley focuses on building cohesive leadership teams. This assessment brings together the DiSC Model and the Five Behaviors Model by Patrick Lencioni. The assessment has 2 parts – the first focuses on identifying the DiSC style of each team member through a self-assessment. The second part is the team survey that takes inputs from all the team members and provides rating for the team on the 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team that are – Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability and Results. The report also gives insights on how the DiSC style of each team member has an impact on the 5 behaviors. Dysfunctional leadership teams are not only ineffective but can also damage the business prospects of the organization. This team assessment for leadership teams helps them identify dysfunctional team behaviors and create an action-plan for building a cohesive team.

Psychometric assessments for leaders provide scientifically validated and unbiased insights into leadership behaviors. Such insights are invaluable and an effective first step in leadership development through leadership coaching or training.

You can reach out to us to know more about these assessments and their application in leadership development.

Identifying leadership potential through psychometric test

Psychometrics is the study of educational and psychological measurements. A psychometric test is an assessment tool that provides feedback about leadership traits and identifies key features that the applicant has for leadership role. Leadership is a process by which an individual can influence the behavior and work of others towards accomplishment of a goal. A manager’s leadership is the act of inspiring confidence and dedication in his or her subordinates. A company’s success depends on its ability to identify leadership potential in its applicants. Whether you are recruiting new executives, promoting candidates, or planning for future talent needs of your business, psychometric testing will enable you to identify certain traits which candidates should possess.

There are several methods to identify key potential in a candidate, most of which are subjective, possibly biased, and is often based on inferior indicators such as current job performance. Psychometric tests help to combine ability testing with behavioral test by personality inventories and motivation. To truly benefit from these tests, it’s important to identify what characteristic trait is required for job role.

The biggest challenge for companies nowadays is assessing and hiring the right candidate. Looking for a candidate with the required skill is difficult and can influence the performance of a company. Psychometric tests use technology which is practical and can be easily applicable to business performance. It uses critical assessments such as reasoning tests and psychometric tools to find capabilities in an employee which an organization required for better performance. Assessments provide a lot of information about leadership style, attitudes, strengths and behavior.

Popular assessment formats

General reasoning. This helps in understanding and demonstrating an individual’s ability to handle complex and abstract concepts. It also identifies a person’s ability of speed learning and mental agility, which involves the capability to think both laterally and logically; which is important for any leadership role.

Personality. This includes questions related to behavior tendencies associated with personality traits. These tests check attention to detail and focus on quality. It also involves drive for competitiveness, curiosity for more knowledge and flexibility to change directions when the priorities change.

Individual leadership assessment. This assessment is for ambitious individuals who want to dig deep into their potential and how to bridge the gap in their knowledge and leadership skills. This assessment uses a list of psychometric questions and an in-detail feedback interview.

Assessment for recruitment. When you are recruiting employees for your organization, you want to know as much about your candidates, not just their rehearsed answers in interview. The test should be a combination of leadership assessments, personality questionnaires and ability tests to understand more about the candidates.

Current performance. This might not be a reliable factor of potential, but it should not be neglected either. Still, competence at the current job role should not be taken more than a prerequisite. But it also shows whether a person has leadership traits or not which are going to help him in the next role of a leader.

Leaders act, but more importantly, they take feedbacks about their work from the team to continuously improve. The analysis you will do using the psychometric test will allow you to learn more about your current leadership behavior as perceived by you and others. You will have information from your past experiences on the areas you need to improve further for the role of a leader.

Popular Leadership Styles

Leadership defined in simple terms, means leading a group of people or an organization. The meaning of leadership has changed over the years with the progress in business models and greater focus on developing people. Leadership style is the way in which leaders provide instructions, implement plans and motivate people.

It is found in the implicit and explicit behaviors exhibited by the leader while performing their actions. As the array of leadership styles have expanded, it has become essential for leaders to be knowledgeable about all the styles and possibly even adapt to one of the styles that aligns with their job requirement and their personal preference. Even different scenarios in the same role may require the use of different leadership styles in order to ensure an effective outcome.

Leadership styles are widely varied and are influenced by the characteristics of the leader themselves if they have not experienced leadership training. Here are a few of the distinguishing features of different styles of leadership:

  1. Laissez-Fair leadership involves the leader following a hands-off approach where high autonomy is given to the team they manage. This may lead intrinsically motivated employees to thrive but also poses a threat of low motivation and productivity.
  2. Autocratic leadership involves the leader making all the decision without input from the team. This style when followed in times of crisis is very effective but if followed as the norm, leads to employees feeling demotivated.
  3. Democratic leadership has a leader that involves the entire team in appropriate decision-making processes and makes the final decision. This promotes creativity, innovation and calculated risk-taking.
  4. Strategic leadership involves the leader influencing their team to make decisions that benefit the team and organizational goals. Strategic leaders often develop other strategic leaders, and this is greatly beneficial to the progress of an organization.
  5. Transactional leadership involves leaders basing their style on the reward-punishment model. The member of the team or organization that perform well will be rewarded in kind and those that under-perform will be punished. This approach may motivate good performers but further demotivate the below average performers, lead them to stress and burnout rather than providing feedback and plans to perform better.
  6. Transformational leadership involves the leader having a strong vision and influencing the team to make the vision their own and be successful. This type of leader is empathetic, self-aware, authentic, strategic and humble. It increases the motivation levels in the team and contributes to maintaining the mental wellbeing of the individuals within the team.
  7. Charismatic leadership involves the leader that has a universally likeable personality, who is motivating, energizing and inspiring. This style enables the team to have high team morale and be successful in the projects they undertake. Charismatic leaders need empathy to be the foundation else they may come across as superficially charismatic and lose trust.

The leadership styles discussed above are all ones that have been derived from existent styles. Everyone may have a default style but by learning the other styles they can evolve into practicing the style that they idealize or even borrow characteristics from other styles to expand their array of competencies to use at appropriate scenarios, which improves their performance and impact at the workplace.

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

To be effective, business leadership programs need a fair degree of planning. By concentrating leadership training programs and other development activities on the unique strategic environment and your organization’s main leadership development goals, a methodical approach pays dividends. It is critical to create and implement a solid leadership development program for a company. Members of an organization, especially in the current context, want strong leaders to whom they can turn for direction and support. A strong corporate leadership program not only improves present leadership abilities, but also gives your staff the chance to learn the talents they’ll need to succeed. Thus, in this article, we are going to talk about business leadership programs.

Business Leadership Programs

In times of crisis and in competitive marketplaces, business leadership programs are important to firm continuity. Such a strategy has the ability to keep your most valued employees engaged with the company while also discouraging them from looking for work with competitors. Furthermore, the better your executives are, the more likely your company will be able to differentiate itself and remain competitive in an ever-changing market. To create an effective business leadership program, follow the given steps:

  1. Assess and identify talent: Some companies have a structured corporate leadership program and talent pools from which to choose candidates for a specific leadership development plan. Some companies, on the other hand, lack systematic talent identification and appraisal systems. Senior leadership, the manager or supervisor of the targeted employee(s), and the employee must all buy-in for a business leadership program to be successful. A leadership program generally necessitates a larger investment in the individual. This generally entails allocating a budget to ensure its success. Involvement of the manager/supervisor is also required. The reason for this is that the targeted person may be required to take on extra tasks or attend training, which will divert their attention away from their existing responsibilities. This plan’s target employee(s) must also desire to be a part of it. While this may appear to be a fantastic opportunity, there may be one or two employees who decline or prefer to postpone participation until a later date. This might be due to other personal obligations or the employee’s lack of enthusiasm. Even if they have the ability to lead, not every employee wants to be in a leadership role.
  2. Identify the leadership style: Within the organization, there may be an overall leadership style that is required of future leaders. This might be determined by the organization’s culture and business requirements.
  3. Determine the key leadership competencies: An effective leadership development plan requires identifying core leadership abilities required for the organization’s present and future success. The developmental strategy is built on these abilities. Developing them entails ensuring that the next generation of leaders is prepared for present problems as well as yet-to-be-discovered catastrophes.
  4. Assess key leadership competencies: The company will have to analyze the selected employee(s) against the important leadership qualities specified in order to determine what the leadership development plan would include. The findings of this evaluation will show where the employee’s skill gaps are. Then, to close the gaps, find and/or construct the most appropriate developing opportunities for the employee.
  5. Design the leadership development plan: To design relevant learning opportunities for your workers, consult your organization’s Learning & Development subject matter experts. To offer a rich learning environment for the employee, incorporate as many of the learning solutions described below as possible:
  • Microlearning on a self-paced basis, similar to LinkedIn Learning and Google Grow.
  • Complementary leadership mentorship – This form of mentoring links aspiring leaders with leaders who excel at the skills they lack.
  • Shadowing a coworker – This gives the employee a realistic picture of how a job works. It also gives you the chance to meet important stakeholders and learn about the problems you’ll face on the job.
  • Job rotation – An employee takes on new responsibilities for three to six months, usually on a temporary basis.
  • Professional development courses are often 2-3-day offsite training sessions for a certain skill or ability.
  • Professional certificates – In order to function in particular jobs and be considered credible by their peers, employees may need to get and maintain professional certifications.
  1. Conduct continuous 360-degree leadership assessment: You want to know if your leadership development program is successful and accomplishes its objectives. That’s why you’ll need to devise a system for tracking an employee’s growth throughout and after a leadership development plan is completed. A 360-degree leadership assessment from important stakeholders is one of the methods. Continuous feedback and involvement assure the employee’s and the plan’s success. Engagement during the process allows for real-time tweaking of the plan’s objectives to reflect organizational changes. Finally, the employee develops into the leader that the organization requires.

Above all, leaders must keep in mind their workers and future generations of leaders who wish to be prepared for the challenges ahead. They may be scared by the currents’ unpredictability, but they are also enthralled by the chances that emerge during times of crisis. Create successful business leadership programs to invest in your future leaders and guarantee that the necessary skills are recognized and developed in real time.

Transactional Leadership

As a form of leadership, transactional leadership focuses on results, adheres to existing structures, and measures success in accordance with the rewards system in place in the organization.

It is the role of the transactional leader to maintain routine by managing individual performance and facilitate performance within the group. In an organization, he or she has formal authority and responsibility. Leadership criteria are set by transactional leaders based on the already defined requirements for workers. It is best for them to work with employees who are familiar with their jobs and who are motivated by reward-punishment systems.

History of transactional leadership theory

According to Max Weber, a German sociologist of the 20th century, there are three main types of leadership styles: traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal. In Weber’s words, rational-legal is “the exercise of control based on knowledge.”

According to transactional leadership theory, managers give employees something if they want something back. To complete tasks on time and accurately, workers need instruction, structure, and monitoring, not self-motivation.

Throughout the United States, this leadership style was popular after World War II. In order to keep national stability and build a high level of structure, this happened.

Transactional leaders believe in fairness, responsibility, honesty, and keeping promises.

Dimensions of transactional leadership are:

Contingent reward is the process of setting expectations for workers and rewarding them when they meet those expectations.

In active management by exception, managers anticipate problems, monitor progress, and take corrective measures when necessary.

The third type of management is passive management by exception, where the manager does not interfere with the ongoing work until and unless an issue arises.

Charactetransristics of transactional leadership style:

  1. Thrive on following rules and doing things correctly.
  2. Opposed and reluctant to change.
  3. Tend to be inflexible.
  4. Focuses on short-term goals.
  5. Favours structured policies and procedures.

Advantages of transactional leadership style:

  1. It provides an unambiguous structure for large organisations.
  2. It helps in achieving short term goals quickly and efficiently.
  3. Rewards and punishments are clearly defined.
  4. It provides rewards who are motivated by self-interest to follow instructions.

Disadvantages of transactional leadership style:

  1. It does not promote creativity as goals and objectives are already set.
  2. It does not reward personal initiative.
  3. Only provide financial rewards.

Transnational corporations are great places for transactional leadership because not everyone speaks the same language. Workers can easily finish tasks once the structure is in place and requirements are learned. Training isn’t needed for transactional leadership. It’s a great way to bring consistency across the board. If you’re in a crisis situation, this will be best as everyone will know exactly what they’re supposed to do and how it needs to be done.

The people who are motivated by money and perks will do well in transactional leadership.

Howard Schultz, Bill Gates, Vince Lombardi, Norman Schwarzkopf are some famous transactional leaders.

Qualities of a Good Leader

An organization’s growth depends on the presence of strong leaders. As a leader, you should strive to improve your leadership skills as well as the performance of your team. A company that is regarded as one of the best in the world is managed by a leader who acknowledges, accepts, and appreciates the performance of their team. When an organization lacks proper leadership and management, it is likely to devolve into chaos sooner or later.

A true leader doesn’t let the team handle things on their own. A conscious and effective leader takes responsibility for the team’s performance knowing that without his persistent suggestion everyone would suffer.

Qualities of a true leader

True leaders find way of handling their life, company, team and career. The more skilled and knowledgeable you are the more impact your actions, words and leading will have. Here are some of the qualities of a good leader:

  • Sense of responsibility: True leader should always feel responsible for the wellbeing of the organization. And he is self-responsible also. A leader never blames others, instead find ways to create the best solution for problems.
  • Communication skills: Every leader should try to be clear and concise in the communication to be understood in a better way. He should really listen to his team members and should understand body language. Advanced writing skills are also required for a leader to convey his ideas and objectives.
  • Transparency and honesty: A transparent leader would always attract the team members. The employees would feel like that they are working for a boss who is always going to show best interests in their team members.
  • Commitment to a clear vision: A leader should come up with a clear vision as the first essential step. Without that, the leader won’t be able to inspire the team to get closer to the goal. The more committed leader is in reaching out to the goal, the more consistent will he be in his pursuit.

Leadership activities to try at work

Well-thought team building activities organized by the leader will improve self-awareness of the participants. When they realize that they were going wrong at some practice, they will be able to change the behavior and perspective.

  1. The leader’s task. Organize a debate or essay which addresses leadership topics. Design the contest in a way so that only few people can win the first position. Create teams and appoint the winners as leaders. Every leader would be given a goal to achieve and they can handle the team as they want. The teams who achieve the goal, wins. The team who couldn’t achieve the goal, can be given more time.
  2. 30 seconds left. Gather employees and ask them to recall the best moments of their lives. This could include personal breakthrough, professional achievement, experiences they have shared with family and friends or exciting adventures. Ask them to narrow down to time limit of 30 seconds and narrate the moment. This activity will allow your employees to understand what others like and care about and would increase team bonding.
  3. Race of leaders. This activity will help you to evaluate employee’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Write some leadership qualities on a piece of paper. Read each quality out loud and ask participants to step forward if the sentence they hear applies to them. Each step must be justified so they must be ready to give the reason why they possess those qualities.

Becoming a leader who effectively manages the team, responsibilities, project, and personal life at the same time is a complex matter. However, if you do not reach to the full potential of you and your team members, you will never observe ample success. Keep expanding and improving and soon you will realize how important your consistent growth is for the people around you.

Leadership Development Programs in Organization

Leadership development programs in organization should be focused at developing certain essential competencies for a leader to be effective. Few such competencies that are essential to be addressed through such leadership development programs are discussed.

  1. Action oriented

Action oriented person possess characteristics like enjoying hard work, energetic, acts with minimum planning, takes risk and grabs opportunities. They also tend to be workaholic, doesn’t focus to unchallenging tasks, and neglect personal life. This could cause burn out or boredom in long run. An effective leader needs to be action oriented one who doesn’t procrastinate, have faith in self, able to prioritize and organize tasks and learn to be committed and passionate to the work. These are few things to be addressed.

  1. Approachability

For a leader to be successful and have an impact on their employees one needs to be approachable. The skills like easy to talk to, being gracious and pleasant, develops good rapport, listens to others, remains compassionate. But also learn to maintain to an optimum level or will be misinterpreted as easy going or having desire to be liked. So, the program should include sessions to work on needs like personalizing, selecting approachability, not shying away and also to maintain appropriate level so to avoid conflict or criticism.

  1. Business Acumen

A leader who is competent knows the functioning of the business, aware of the policies and possible changes to occur in future, understands the competition level and strategies to survive in the market. It is essential for a leader to be updated about changes or up comings in the market to withstand in the field. So an effective training program should focus on addressing this quality and providing strategies to improve it.

  1. Command Skills

Leader is someone who is required to relish directing others, take up a right stand and guide others in time of crisis. So it is essential that a leadership development programs in organization should address these needs. It must also focus on making individuals to understand the difficulties of leading, to be impartial and to handle controversies as leading is critical than following.

  1. Delegation

An effective leader is someone who assigns routine and important tasks to others comfortably, let others take up responsibility, trust his employees and let people function on their own. If there is no proper delegation it leads to piling of work and failing to meet deadlines. Or the leader turns to be too controlling, making it difficult for the employees to work. Thus practicing the art of delegation is essential for an influential leader.

  1. Ethics & Values

Practice before preaching. Only if the leader adheres to the values and follows the rules, the employees would be motivated to do so. It is also essential that a leader is flexible to adapt the changes to the way of functioning if it is necessary. Being stubborn hinders performance and produces poor results.

  1. Perseverance

Never giving up is most admired skill of a leader. The ability to be resilient and work through challenges to reach the ultimate goal without being dejected or tired is most important for a leader. This quality in a leader drives the employees also to be focused and achieve the target. So leadership development program should address this need so the potential employees understand its importance.

  1. Strategic Agility

A leader should be in a position to see the future consequences of a decision clearly. He must be able to see ahead and predict future turns of events and possibilities. This enables to make competent strategies and plans that keep the organization sustained over a period of time. This requires the leader to be strategic, curious, have a broad perspective and to speculate about future events.

  1. Motivating

It is essential that employees remain focused in their tasks, enjoy the work so they are motivated, committed to their organisation’s goals and values, devoted towards organizational productivity. So, as a leader it is his duty to keep the employees motivated, thus a leadership training program must include strategies to improve and maintain the motivation level of employees in an organization.

  1. Understanding others

Being a successful leader also requires understanding his team and their mind set. The program should aid leaders to pick up the sense of the group in terms of positions, intentions and needs, and to understand their situations so to motivate them.

Strengths Based Leadership

The ageless essence of leadership is to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make a system’s weakness irrelevant.” – Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005)

Individuals perform best when they optimize their strengths and work in areas where they can utilize their strengths to reach their potential. Similarly, teams perform best when the team has a well balanced and complementary set of strengths.

It is human tendency to first notice the negative in everything. In fact, there are more negative words in the vocabulary than positive ones. When something takes its own course and doesn’t align with our thought process, we jump to negative conclusions. Likewise, it is also human nature to fix things. We tend to analyse everything and find gaps only to fix it our way.

Organizations tend to use this approach not only to accomplish projects but also to evaluate employees. However, this approach hinders the formation of strong and diverse teams. This approach also leads to managers demonstrating mediocrity instead of true leadership.

The golden rule of strengths-based leadership is that if managers and leaders stop trying to fix their employees and focus on their strengths, they can be empowered to take the business of the organization to a new standard.

It is imperative that organizations apply a “strengths-based leadership” approach and concentrate on building further strengths when selecting a candidate for a leadership role. Strengths based leadership is an approach that works by focusing on your strengths, and delegating task. Leaders can also use this approach to identify the strengths of their team members and encourage them to use those strengths in a way that benefits not only them, but the entire organization.

Often, leaders are seen as individuals who excel at everything and have very few weaknesses. However, leaders also are likely to be an expert in a specific area only, despite possessing an array of qualifications and skills. When one tries to become an expert in all areas, they may risk spreading themselves too thin and become ineffective as a result. Hence, it is essential to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses delegate tasks that others can do better.

Benefits of Strengths-Based leadership

Improving Engagement.

Encouraging team members play a very important role in achieving success. Focusing on the strengths improves team engagement and contribution. A study by Gallup found that only one percent of employees become disengaged if their manager actively focuses on their strengths while 40 percent become disengaged if they are ignored.

Effective Hiring.

Strengths based leadership approach can be utilized to develop an efficacious team. Through this approach, leaders can hire people based on their individual strengths, not because their skills and interests align with the leader’s own. Therefore, it can aid in developing a diverse team with a motley of strengths, skills, attitudes and cultural values.

Encouraging Creativity

Tapping on the strengths will invigorate creativity in leaders and make them more confident in delegating and passing on responsibility to the team members and emphasize less on making people “fit” for the job, which can lower creativity and innovation.

Several organizations have started embracing assessments like DISC Profile and StrengthsFinder that help identify team’s top strengths to allow management to tap into the strengths of the employees.

DISC vs. StrengthsFinder

The DISC assessment was originally a simple theoretical model to explain behavioural differences amongst people. Initially proposed by Dr. William Moulton Marston and the theoretical model was later developed by Walter V. Clarke after 30 years of its inception. The current assessment tool is called the DiSC Classic 2.0 and is produced by Wiley & Sons, Inc.

On the other hand, Clifton StrengthsFinder profiling tool was designed based on a 30-year study of the innate talents found in individuals. The assessment highlights underlying elements that bring individuals success in an array of areas – banking, medicine, law, education, nursing and so on. From there on, the underlying talents were sorted into 34 overachieving themes, now known as CliftonStrengths themes. The initial assessment was developed in 1998 and in 2007, Gallup released a new edition, built on the original assessment and language, labelled as StrengthsFinder 2.0.

The DISC Assessment measures an individual’s priorities and then translates them into behavioural tendencies. As a descriptive and prescriptive tool, DISC helps a person understand oneself and others better. In contrast, the CliftonStrengths profiling tool measures the presence of raw talent that can be applied to map talent and achieve success. The main purpose of this tool is a developmental tool to help individuals understand the innate talents within them that can help fulfil their desired goals, whether personal, interpersonal or work related.

Since both assessments are self-reported measurements, they require a certain degree of honesty to be accurate. For example, if an individual takes the DISC assessment and answers the complete opposite of what they actually believe, then the results won’t be an accurate reflection of their profile. However, barring such exceptional cases, both the assessments are widely regarded as a valid and reliable form o assessing one’s strengths.

Thus, when leaders understand who they are at their best and harness it in their work life, they can learn how to help their employees work to their full potential.

Four Leadership Style of Situational Leadership

“Effective leaders need to be flexible and must adapt themselves according to the situation.”- Paul Hersey

Situational leadership model comprises some key elements. This mainly includes four different styles of leadership.

According to Hersey and Blanchard, there are four leadership styles which are associated with the situational leadership model. They are telling, selling, participating, and delegating. It is based on the concept that each person or situation is different, and it is the leader’s duty to approach each individual or situation in a different style in order to make the individual successful. As a situational leader, he/she has to approach each team, individual and skill differently.

Leadership Style 1: Directing

In this leadership style, the leader tells people what they have to do and how they have to do it. It is effective for the people who have just joined the company and have no idea about the work. The team which is experienced will not need directing and get an easy transition out of this leadership phase. It is a very leader-driven stage. When an employee is not able to understand the task, leader should spend time and provide the clear instructions so that the employee can understand and perform the job properly. Directing style of leadership is about motivating and encouraging employees who are new and unclear about the work.

Leadership Style 2:  Coaching

This leadership style will be applied to the people who have some experience or have acquired some skills. The objective of coaching is to support the team or individual to develop the skills and help them to achieve their targets. This leadership style also deepens the trust and connection between leader and team. Helps in creating a strong commitment in the future. This leadership style is less telling and more suggesting, which encourages the employees. Leader needs to spend a significant amount of time in listening and offering advice to the employees. This style is less leader drive than the directing style.

Leadership Style 3: Supporting

This leadership style is applied to the people who are already competent in their skills. But their performance is not very consistent, and they are not very committed to the overall goal of the team. During this situation, the leader focuses on supporting each employee, and building relationships rather than focusing more on tasks. The idea is to support people to get towards the goal themselves rather than directing them because they do possess the specific skillset. Leader doesn’t have to give detailed instructions to employee, neither has to follow up often. This style is very follower-driven and relationship-oriented.

Leadership Style 4: Delegating

This leadership style is applied to people who have strong skills and a strong commitment to goals. These kinds of employees can work and progress on their own. The main role of the leader is to monitor the progress and be a part of decision making. Here leader focuses on creating high-level goals for employees and signing it to them.

Situational Leadership

Situational leadership style is a way of adapting to the requirement of the situations or to the needs of the employees whom one as to influence. The leader shifts his style to suit the situation or the person. It also suggests that not always a single style would work and thus an effective leader has to adapt his/her style to the circumstances. This model enables a leader to gain a perspective of the situation by exploring the opportunities and analysing the individuals and leading them in most suited way.

While adopting this model of leadership three things are to be considered, which include: employee’s competencies, maturity of the employee and complexity of the task in hand.

There are four types of leadership style in this model: telling, selling, participating, delegating.

  • Telling: This style refers to leaders or supervisors who constantly assist their employees by spoon feeding them with every detail and instructions relating to the tasks. They would assist them in ways, procedures and ideas to carry out the task.
  • Selling: The leader who encourages ideas and inputs from their employees fall into this category. They involve in two-way communication and listen to their employees, thus developing a sense of being valued in minds of their followers.
  • Participating: This leader indulges in discussion with the employees about the solutions or ideas to be implemented. They seek opinion on the ways to carry out a particular task from the employees and come to concise decision. The leader focuses at forming a relation with his employees.
  • Delegating: This refers to style of assigning tasks and ownerships to the employees and the leader monitors the progress. Delegation of task is the major role played here.

One important clue for leader to see what kind of style to pick would depend on the employees’ maturity; based on that there are four categories:

  • D4 – High Competence, High Commitment: These employees sometimes turn to be more efficient in carrying out the tasks than their leaders.
  • D3 – High Competence, Variable Commitment: This encompasses employees who are highly competent but inconsistence in their commitment level. They also lack self-confidence, thus hesitate to go and perform.
  • D2 – Some Competence, Low Commitment: It suggests that the individual has the required level of competence but still seek help from others to carry out the task due to lack of commitment.
  • D1 – Low Competence, High Commitment: Their skill set or competencies may not be to the optimal level but with their greater commitment and confidence level they focus on completing the assigned task and achieve it.

So these two factors, style of leadership and that of the follower has a relation and which serves as the base for situational leadership.

Why Situational Leadership is Effective?

There are different types of leaders who strive to achieve their goals. Some will direct others to get the work done, some will coach others towards their success by encouraging and motivating them, some will roll up their sleeves and work with others to achieve the targets, and some will prefer to delegate the work and observe their development from afar and will only step-in whenever required.

Then there is one type of leaders known as situational leaders. They evaluate the situation and also the people in the situation. Based on all these factors, they choose the most appropriate leadership style to take care of the situation. The main objective is to not lock oneself into one general leadership instead incorporate different approaches to handle the situation well.

 Advantages of Situational Leadership

  • Situational leadership is flexible in nature

Everyone has different perspectives and experiences which creates a difference. Situational leaders recognize the difference and understand the need to be flexible. These leaders don’t insist on a particular set of rules or instructional style to be followed by everyone. The idea will be to create an environment where everyone is encouraged to come forward, help each other, and give suggestions so collective goal can be reached with success.

  • Helps in creating a comforting environment for others.

Situational leaders prefer to create an environment which is based on the readiness level of the team members or based on their needs. In this way, members feel comfortable with the work environment and work productively. Situational leaders will also motivate employees by giving everyone a chance to reach their goal by providing an environment which they will prefer.

  • Situational leaders take different developmental phases into account before creating an environment.

Situational leaders don’t consider all employees into one common category instead consider individual situations/circumstances. Each employee’s competency is mapped and then he/she is motivated to base their style for that particular employee. This approach helps each employee to reach his/her maximum level of productivity with enough motivation. Situational leaders change their style based on each employee’s way of working and in this productivity of employees increases.

  • Situational leadership style makes leaders more aware.

This type of leadership style keeps the leaders on toes as they have to constantly monitor the performance of each employee. Based on their performance, leaders have to change their leadership style in order to enhance their productivity. This also helps the leader to be more empathetic in nature and understand that each employee works in a different manner.

  • Situational Leadership helps the team to work better and together.

As situational leadership is based on intuition and flexible in nature, it ultimately reduces the risk of internal conflict. As the situational leader is quick and responsible, conflict/problem dissipate before it becomes an issue.

  • Situational Leadership also boosts the training.

Situational leaders believe in speeding up quickly and for that, they believe in providing small and customized training for new employees so that they can learn things quickly and efficiently. Another objective is to ensure that every employee is getting a chance to improve his/her performance.

Situational Leadership is the need of the hour and it brings a lot of benefits for the organization as well as for the employees.

Strategies for Leadership Development

Though certain innate traits assist in developing leadership capacity, it is majorly a skill based quality. It is not a quality one is born with and no individual becomes a leader in one night – with proper training and strategies the leadership quality could be developed.

“Leaders are not born but they are made”.  Through some strategies one could develop a competent leader for the organization. Some examples of strategies for leadership development are discussed below.

  1. Training

When some competencies for a leader are noticed in the employees it is essential to provide them a formal training programs. This enables them to develop the skills required to manage and lead a team successfully. Few of the essential training programs for leaders could include strategic thinking, risk taking behaviour, conflict management, time management and emotional intelligence training. These are few of the basic skills that are required for an effective leader. Based on the level of the leader and the responsibilities he needs to fulfil the programs. Investing in leadership training is a great asset for the organization as in turn they get competent leaders who would increase the productivity and overall performance of the organization.

  1. Coaching

It is different from training and mentoring. Coaching is one to one session. The employee is constantly monitored on their performance and developed with several activities and tasks to improve their skill set to be effective leader. The focus is placed not only to developing the art of directing and delegating tasks, also to inspire and motivate the people around. It is one essential quality of a successful leader. Coaching is a personal journey for a leader to become more effective through voluntary goal-setting.

  1. Challenging Projects

If a person is identified to have the potential to be a leader, then one way of ensuring they develop the required skills is through challenging projects. Challenging employees with problematic and difficult situations or projects leaves them with rich experiences. As it is a known fact, that leaders have to face lot of challenging situations, take important decisions and often work under pressure it is beneficial to train them manage situations like that. Either the outcome turns to be positive or negative the individual is left with experience. This aids them in handling difficult situations better when faced with them later.

  1. Rotating

One other strategy to develop leadership quality in the employee is to engage them in playing different roles. The leaders should be assigned different responsibilities, rotated to face varied job functions. This gives them a perspective of how different jobs function and to know about the roles of each employee. Later, this rich experience comes in handy at needed situations. It also helps in planning, organizing and delegating roles for different people under them. It is also beneficial to expose employees to handle technology, communicate with different people and different culture, etc.

  1. Evaluating

Learning happens only when individuals know about their progress. So, it is important to evaluate employees on their performance and provide them a 360 degree feedback. It should be a genuine evaluation highlighting both the strengths and areas to be improved by the employee. This aids in keeping track of the progress and also to boost the employee to work towards it. Moreover, mapping out ways to work on improving is also essential for change to happen.

Leadership Development Process

The power of good leader is magnificent in that he could make the best out of little resources, whereas someone with poor leadership skills will ruin the functioning even with best of resources. That’s why creating effective leaders at various levels in the organization is essential, as in turn adds value to the organization. To identify, attract, fill, and retain corporate leadership talent, companies need leadership development programs focused on hiring strategies, employee development, and career and succession planning. Having the right process in leadership development is essential to building the right pool of future leaders.

Here is a view of the steps that need to be considered in the leadership development process.

Steps in leadership development process

  1. Determine the best leadership style for your organization

While viewing different leadership theories there are various techniques suggested there to understand the suitable style for the organization. Considering situational leadership theory as an example, it suggests people use different ways of handling things depending on the situation. So if organization use this theory as base, facts like the nature of the role, complexity of the company, and competency of the employees that it caters to are all to be considered. Within the company, leadership styles needed for an HR manager and sales manager would be different. It is also essential to understand the leader fit to avoid failures or loss in the future. There are two ways to assess leader fit: Understanding the individual better, exploring the work culture required in the organization.

  1. Identify current and potential leaders within the company

To assess budding leaders in the organization the leadership program needs to identify expected skills and competencies of the leader. The organization could use competency models to evaluate the performance of the potential employees during review sessions. They could either use their own competency model developed for these purposes or use certain established models. One such model is SHL’s Great Eight leadership competencies. Either which way they are required to set some measuring criteria for successful performance. There are two ways of identifying leaders in the organization: internal and external. An effective way to do this is to roll-out a Competency Mapping exercise in the organization.

  • Internal: Performance Management

This is basically analysing and assessing the performance of potential employees during their review session, and testing their competencies through several ways: by assigning tasks and goals, receiving a 360 degree feedback or mapping the employee’s progress in the company. It is quite advantageous to make leaders from within as they know the functioning and environment which gives them an upper hand in maintaining or increasing profit.

  • External: Requirement Process

Other way of bringing right people into right jobs is by recruiting the suited candidate at first place. Various assessments could be conducted during the interview process to bring in the competent candidate on board.

  1. Identify leadership gaps

In order to understand the leadership gaps assessing readiness of both individual and organization is required. To know this there should be complete assessments relating to present and future requirements, the views of the present managerial team, the needs of the employees, identifying potential leaders who would leave the company, analysing the skill set required and also framing a time period for filling the gaps.

  1. Develop succession plans for critical role

Framing a succession plan is beneficial at crucial times, when some leader leaves the company or some contingency that makes them unavailable. This helps in resuming functioning immediately and avoids disruption in the organization. It is advised to have succession plans for all potential roles and not just for the top managerial roles.

  1. Develop career planning goals for potential leaders

It’s no more an individual’s responsibility alone to create a career planning. Organizations are supposed to devise a plan for potential employees and delegate them challenging roles and set goals. If they fail to do so or to provide them with sufficient opportunities for growth, eventually they will lose their potential leaders.

  1. Develop a skills roadmap for future leaders

The leaders are also to be provided with non-traditional learning to understand today’s functioning and to withstand the competition. As a part of an employee’s development plan activities like training, coaching, job rotation, job shadowing, mentoring, and leading projects are included to develop the skills.

  1. Develop retention programs for current and future leaders

Retaining skilled and potential employees and leaders is a greater task. Providing them with rewards is essential to keep them motivated and to create a sense of belonging as well. Both momentary and non-momentary rewards play a crucial role. Constant appreciation, recognition and reinforcement are crucial. It should be planned in such a way that the efforts by these people are appreciated so they feel valued and are motivated to function even more effectively.

Leadership Coaching

It is an individualized process which helps the leader to build his/her capability to achieve the long- and short-term goals. Leadership coaching is usually customized and conducted one-on-one for a set period. It is done by usually keeping a business purpose in mind. It started by helping managers who are de-railed from their goals. Then it moved to enhance leaders’ performance at all levels. Leadership coaching helps the organization to grow and expand their leadership bench. It also helps leaders who want to gain an edge in their own branding and marketing.

Leadership coaching will be beneficial for individuals who want to become future leaders. Coaching will help them to sharpen their skills. More than 60% of Fortune 500 CEO’s have their personal coaches which help them to achieve their goals. Though formal education and training help the leaders to understand and handle the technical part of their role, leadership coaching will help the leader to grow personally and improve their relationship skills.

Leadership coaching is “tailored to the individual” and is a developmental process for leaders which is achieved in partnership with a coach. Here the coach believes that the leader has unlimited potential achieve the goals, he/she only gives direction to do that.

The main objective of leadership coaching is to help the leader to remove obstacles which are there in the way. Coach maintains a careful distance of objectivity and helps the leader to create a path of success through introspection and self- reflection. Coach will not solve the problem for leaders on his/her behalf because the coachee is the expert of his/her own life.

What does a leadership coach do?

Coach collects data from surveys to identify the behaviors which can be directly linked with business outcomes. Then the coach listens to the leader’s situation or problem. Also guides him/her to solve the problems. After figuring out the problem, coach helps the leader to set priorities, anticipate the obstacles, and prepare an action plan to overcome them.

Coach ensures that the leader is out of his/her comfort zone to explore new options and areas. Provides a fresh perspective to the situation or problem based on experience so that leader can solve the problem efficiently. Then at regular intervals, the coach will evaluate the goals of leaders and will help to achieve them. Will conduct meetings on a regular basis and assess the progress. Coach follows-up with the leader to see whether the goal is achieved or not. If it is not, then coach invites for more discourse and learning on the issue. All the information exchanged during the coaching will remain confidential.

Leadership coach makes the coachee aware about the goals and obstacles. Coach ensures that the coachee recognizes the strengths and use them to remove the obstacle. Coach should advocate self-awareness. Coachee should be self-aware about and ensure that there is no dependency on the coach regarding solving the obstacle or achieving the goal. In the end, coach will only help to achieve the goal but coachee must work on it.

Benefits of Situational Leadership

Situational leadership is a leadership model where a leader has to change his/her style in order to meet the requirements of the subordinates and the needs of the organisation.

The major benefit of situational leadership is that it is very easy to understand and use. It is widely used leadership model as it helps in improving the employee commitment and reduces the attrition rate in the organization.

Situational leadership has various strengths. It is well known and is frequently used for training the leaders within the organization. This approach to leadership is perceived as a credible model for training people to become effective leaders. Corporates believe that training people on situational leadership style will make them good and efficient leaders.

This is considered as the first benefit of the situational leadership style.

The other benefit of the situational leadership style is that it is very practical, easy to understand, intuitively sensible, and easily applied in different settings. Situational leadership provides a very simple and straightforward approach to assess leadership behaviour.

This leadership style is described at a very abstract level which is easily grasped, the ideas about this leadership style are easily acquired. Moreover, the principles of this leadership style are easy to apply across a variety of settings, including work, school, and family.

Situational leadership style is not descriptive but prescriptive in nature. It tells you what a leader should do in a particular style. If the subordinates are very low in competence, situational leadership prescribes a directing style for them. If subordinates are competent but lack in confidence, situational leadership prescribes a supporting style. These prescriptions provide leaders with a valuable set of guidelines which will facilitate and enhance leadership.

Situational leadership style focuses on the leader being flexible. It stresses that leader should find and understand his/her subordinates’ needs and then adapt their style accordingly. Situational leaders don’t use a single leadership style; they are willing to change to meet up the requirements. Situational leaders understand that each employee work different in different tasks and may act differently during different stages of the same task. They change their styles based on the requirements of task or the needs of the employees, if required they can change their leadership style in the middle of the project also.

Situational leadership emphasise on the fact that each subordinate should be treated differently based on the task and should seek opportunities to help subordinates to learn new skills and ace those skills. This approach underscores that employees have unique needs and deserve the help from leader to become better at doing their work.

Situational leadership is a very adjustable model which ensures that employee get good support and they should not feel suffocated or over-managed. Through situational leadership model, employees get appropriate attention, direction, and support which make them feel valued and empowered. Adequately managed employees are more engaged in their work which will make them more productive. As a result workplace will be happier and employees will be satisfied with their work.

Servant leadership’s 3 Golden Rules

Unless they bring out the best in their employees, a leader is just an overhead cost. It’s easy for leaders to lose sight of this. Leaders become overly obsessed with outcomes and metrics when they have power, which makes them treat their employees like means to an end. In this method, fear is only amplified – fear of being fired, fear of not hitting targets, etc. Thus, learning and experimentation are hindered by a negative atmosphere.

An easy way to avoid building that sort of culture is to empower, value, and motivate employees to bring their best selves to work – a philosophy followed by Servant Leadership leaders.

Leaders who serve employees are those who provide emotional and tangible support in their quest for professional and personal growth. By supporting people they’re both responsible for and responsible to, these leaders demonstrate humility, courage, and insight.

Become a Servant Leader by following these three golden rules.

  1. Start by asking instead of telling. Instead of telling them how to do their jobs, ask how you can help them (employees) do theirs better
  2. Encourage employees to think outside the box by giving them a low-risk space and freedom to experiment
  3. Be humble as a leader. Respect doesn’t come from servant leaders. By respecting others first, they earn respect.

Practicing these 3 golden rules will make you a servant leader.

Leadership Team Development

What is critical to leadership team development? Making it relevant to the everchanging business! Developing people is good and worthy. When people are eager to develop themselves and gain new skills and knowledge, they are better engaged and more productive.

However, the primary reason for any organization to invest in Leadership team development is to enhance organizational capability and be more effective – at all levels – individual, team and organization. This aspect may be difficult to measure and even more difficult to achieve.

Leadership team development faces many challenges. Short term event-based training programs seldom result in any noticeable change in the behaviour or capability of the participants. Long term programs, on the other hand, are difficult to sustain and lose steam mid-way!

Also, when participants learn new skills and gain new knowledge but do not get an opportunity to apply them at work immediately, they lose the new perspectives and revert to old ways of doing things.

Research shows that leadership team development can be effective when the senior leadership team is involved in the process of training and learning. They need to create a psychologically safe environment where participants are willing to take interpersonal risk and explore new ways of solving old problems.

By creating an environment where participants can immediately apply their new learning, leaders contribute immensely to the leadership development initiatives. Making leadership team development initiatives requires system level changes and not just “more training”.

System level changes requires one to view an organization works on the principles Gaia hypothesis (as developed by James Lovelock for the planet) as a single self-regulating system. An organization comprises of people, systems and processes. People means their skills, talents, expertise, cultural background, behavioural and personality styles and even their roles, responsibilities and relationships at workplace.

Behavioural change requires that the organization addresses these aspects in totality. The system needs to support the change expected of the individual participants. If the system fails to support the training initiative, the development tapers off.

Here are some common areas to address when embarking on a leadership team development program:

  1. Bring clarity about the path forward and help every individual set the right priorities
  2. Address the buy-in of senior managers into the new direction and change programs. Often, senior managers may not acknowledge the need to change their own behaviour and this could derail leadership team development programs.
  3. Develop a more egalitarian method of addressing problems where it is easy for people to speak up about problems without the fear of unfavourable consequences.
  4. Work to break down silos among various functions. Often, new projects work across functions and having a collaborative culture helps new initiatives.
  5. Create a structured process for senior leaders to interact with the participants. Their time and attention are helpful in getting a continuous buy-in.

The focus, while developing the leadership team, needs to shift form just delivering training programs to creating systemic changes that support the learning. By clarifying roles and responsibilities, driving clarity of the expected outcomes from the learners and by contributing their own time and attention on the change project, senor leadership can enable effective leadership team development programs.

Leadership Assessment Parameters

It is important to have some metrics to measure and define the success of leaders because it is difficult to judge and rate oneself as self-serving bias may come in between. Self-serving bias may distort one’s perception of his/her successes and failures. On the other hand, many people measure leadership skills based on the individual’s contribution to the organization’s growth. This can be an aspect but should not the sole parameter for assessing the leadership skill of an individual. Some of the parameters that can effectively measure the leadership are:

  • Engagement

It is one of the most important factors in being an effective leader. A good leader engages with the team and also motivates the team members to engage with each other. If an employee works in isolation, his/her productivity and motivation decreases. If team members are disengaged and have continuous ego clashes will reduce job satisfaction and lowers the performance. A good leader always ensures that the team works well together and resolves the conflict. On the other hand, a toxic manager only cares about profit. He/she is not concerned about the employees which might result in high turnover. So it is important for a leader to be engaged with the team and also ensures that team members are cohesive with each other.

  • Growth of Employees

A good leader should ensure that employees are growing at work. He/she should understand the potential the employees and hone their skills so that they can achieve their tasks efficiently and can improve their abilities in their journey at the workplace. A leader should keep track of the progress of employees and should help the employees who are not able to cope well with the work and the culture of the organization. If employees are not able to improve their growth trajectory then it shows that the leader is not paying emphasis on the growth of employees. This might also lead to turnover.

  • Training

A good leader understands the potential of the employees and works with them to improve their skills. A leader should train the employees and enhance their skills so that they can work efficiently and be satisfied with their work and performance. A good leader should always take time out to impart knowledge to the team members. He/she encourages the team to put their best foot forward. An effective measure for this parameter can be how many people have achieved their big targets under one’s leadership.

  • Fairness

A good leader has to be fair with others. It is important that the leader provides equal opportunities to every team member. Leader should not be biased to any one of the employees. Leader should strive to see all the team members grow. There should be a standard of balance where each employee is treated fairly, and the concerns of each employee is taken consideration.

  • Respect for others

A good leader should respect each of his/her team member. If the leader gives respect, then only he will get the respect. In order to create a healthy culture in the organization it is important that each individual respect other, then only people can work well together. A good leader makes the employees feel respected and valued.

Leadership development program proposal

The training proposal for different program follows set format which gives the client idea about the objectives of the program, the different needs addressed, details about the facilitator, targeted group, and benefits or outcome of the training program. The proposal also highlights the unique features of the program from the rest others available in the market.

Purpose or objective of the program

The purpose of the leadership training is to make leaders competent to function effectively and manage and influence the employees. It assists in organizing and synthesizing complex ideas into a tapestry of words and images. It also aid in improving the critical skill- visioning process and eventually aiding in analysing the past, understanding the present and exploring options to craft a clear future vision.

  1. Focus

Achievement or striving for success is the purpose or focus of any task. For successful achievement goals should be well defined. Thus, an influential leader should possess a well-defined goal. This suggests a leader should be able to set effective goals and to stick to it until the gaol is reached. If there are no set goals or targets, then the individual would act to the spur of the moment and there would be a drifter mind-set. Thus clarity or focus is one essential skill of the leader and the leadership program aims at developing this quality.

  1. Communication

It is essential a leader is able to influence and inspire others. One basic skill required is excellent communication skill. All great leaders have turned out to be excellent orators. A leader should be in a position to explain his opinions, goals and ideas to others clearly and make others work in accordance to it so there is no disagreement. This helps in avoiding miscommunication and issues arising due to it. Excellent communication is a must-have skill.

  1. Prioritising, planning, delegating

Next important skill for an effective leader is the ability to cleverly analyse the various possibilities. The leader must be able to carefully list all different facts and prioritize them; he should be able to plan extensively each step that the goal is achieved efficiently. For effective achievement of goals the leader should be able to learn strengths and weakness of the group and delegate tasks in a way that it taps the strengths of each of them. The program include sessions to improve these skills in the potential and competent employees.

  1. Rationalizing Conflict

The leader is someone who must ensure there is harmony in the group. He must be tactful to identify issues at budding stage and resolve it to avoid conflict. Thus understanding he differences in personalities of group members and making path for them to complement each other would foster cohesive environment. Group members working in unison helps them to be focused towards the goal and contributes to increased productivity.

  1. Inspiring and motivating

One unique quality for a successful leader is to inspire and motivate self and others. The effective leader is one who remains stable and resilient to challenges, aware of self and clear with their goals. Also, it is essential that he inspires his employees and keep them motivated by developing their confidence and acknowledging their efforts. The program ensures these needs are met and thus making competent and potential leaders stand out from others.

This is the outline of the experiential leadership development program and these are customizable to the individual requirements.

Essential Leadership Training Programs

Leadership training is crucial for the organization and the individual as it helps determining the success of the organization by rightly tapping the emerging leaders and training them on the necessary skills. Few of the essential training programs for leaders are discussed below in three different levels, which include organizational excellence, team excellence and personal excellence.

Organizational Excellence – Since leaders directly impact the policies at the highest level, it is important to train them on organizational excellence skills. Their effectiveness in organizational skills directly impacts the well-being of the entire organizations. Two key training programs that can enhance organizational effectiveness of leaders are:

  1. Strategic Thinking

The way in which a person sees, perceives, imagine, analyse and creates a future for self and people around refers to strategic thinking. This could serve as a very vital tool. It aids in effective decision making that leads to organizational success. So, a leader at the top level or in management needs to be efficient in strategic thinking. There are set of skills that aid in developing the strategic thinking of an individual and a Strategic Thinking workshop should aim at developing these.

  • A strategic thinker is usually logical and creative; this paves way for new solutions and ideas which takes the organization closer to excellence.
  • To be a strategic thinker, one must have a clear vision. It must be well defined and focused.
  • Objectives are jotted down, with tasks delegated for each objective and plan for the required resources to complete each task.
  • They possess the ability to adapt changes to their plans to best fit the situation and requirements.
  • They have a tendency to learn from experiences and apply them in their future ventures.
  • Strategic thinker is open to hear ideas from others and try to incorporate them in the plan.
  • They are not biased and remain non-judgemental during the brain storming sessions. They tend to be open minded.
  • One great asset of strategic thinker is patience. They remain calm and avoid jumping into conclusions.

The above mentioned skills are crucial for organization success and it is essential that those at top managing levels have the skills. A training program in strategic thinking would help them develop and improve the above mentioned skills and make them great leaders.

  1. Risk Taking

Risk taking is the act of involving in a difficult task or decision where there is potential risk for failure or uncertainty. Most of the leaders develop skills like charisma, inspiring others, etc. but risk-taking behaviour is something that differentiate a leader from the others. Certain people take risks while others walk away, what are the factors determine who will take risks? Studies reveal that willingness to take risks, seeing risks as opportunities, personality characteristics, and emotional intelligence is some of them. To be successful as a leader there is an inherent need to take risks. Process in risk taking could be put together as,

  • Analysing the situation, this gives a perspective of the actions to be taken. It would aid in planning the steps.
  • With risks comes learning. Be the positive or negative consequences learning does happen.
  • It is essential that actions are taken immediately at risky situations. So it is essential to develop the art of jumping in and performing.

Risk taking behaviour is important for top level managers and leaders who often face challenges. So a training on Risk Taking would help them develop the skills necessary to view risks as opportunities for development and to be spontaneous at times.

Training Team Excellence

Team Effectiveness – The success of a leader does not depend only on his/her performance, but on his/her ability to successfully manage and lead teams. Conflicts being an integral part of any team need to be managed successfully by leaders. This makes Conflict Management one of the critical training engagements for leaders.

  1. Conflict Management

In a group having people from varied background, having different ideas, thinking and views conflicts are inevitable. As a leader one is in a position to manage these conflicts effectively. Few common ways of dealing with conflict could involve Avoiding, Harmonizing, Bargaining, Forcing and Problem solving. In the training program team leaders will be educated about these and also different conflict management styles, factors affecting conflict, different situations causing conflict, etc. Some very common conflict management style includes: Collaborating, Accommodating, Competing, Avoiding and Compromising.

It is essential that a leader manages the conflict efficiently to facilitate smooth team functioning. So, a training program on conflict management should aid in developing the abilities to manage conflict and gain a good perspective about various factors causing the development of conflict.

Training Personal Excellence

Personal Effectiveness – A leader can only be effective if they are able to manage themselves effectively. Personal Effectiveness of a leader impacts not only his/her work but also motivates and guides other in the team. 2 key skills that can be developed through training for leaders are Time Management and Emotional Intelligence

  1. Time Management

Time management is the ability to consolidate and schedule all the work by spacing them within the stipulated time.  Time is a very essential resource and one must master the art of multi-tasking to be efficient enough to be punctual in completing the tasks. Proper time management skills are one of the essential development areas for Leaders. It is an opportunity for leaders to better prioritize work, be more productive, to remain focused on tasks, and to get organized, leading to be punctual and create a positive image about themselves.

Time management training would enable leaders to master skills like prioritizing between urgent and important tasks, art of delegation, setting goals, managing personal tasks, etc. Along with that training includes time mastery profile, Time Mastery connects different dimensions of time management in a virtual world to real-world demands, generating powerful action plans. Time mastery profile helps in understanding current level of skill with a skill-gap analysis.

  1. Emotional Intelligence

It is essential that a leader is able to manage and control their emotions appropriately. It is a well-known fact that leaders go through challenges and work under great deal of pressure. Failing to manage one’s emotions effectively or of the team mates when under stress puts a leader down. Going through the training program would ensure the leaders gain expertise in these dimensions: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Social skill, Empathy, Emotional sensitivity and adaptability.

In order to gain self-awareness Johari Window could be used to get a greater perspective. 360 degree feedback is another method which would also be a part of the training program. This would ensure that a leader is able to better manage the team or also for an emerging leader to develop certain qualities essential for a functional leader.

Leadership Development Curriculum Design

The leadership development curriculum depends on the personal learning style of the leaders or requirement keeping in mind the organization’s key competencies and one that lead to lasting changes.

Strengthscape Pvt. Ltd.  offers three such highly experiential and personalized leadership curriculum or programs. The three programs are:

  • Jamavaar – A Living Tapestry of Organizational Vision
  • Work of Leaders – Multiplying leadership inventory
  • Five Behaviours – Building High Performance Teams
  1. Jamavaar – Strengthscape’s Jamavaar is s a business workshop that helps in creating a visual map for the leaders; it is a high-impact leadership program that addresses the most critical skill of an effective leader. The program assists in organizing and synthesizing complex ideas into a tapestry of words and images. The program addresses several needs that aid in improving the critical skill- visioning process and eventually aiding in analysing the past, understanding the present and exploring options to craft a clear future vision. It also aims at creating a unison environment breaking the hierarchical and strategic boundary, thus framing an integrated vision. Jamavaar connects unique leadership styles to real-world demands, generating powerful conversations that provide a clear path for action at both individual and organizational level. The sessions cover topics like Understanding behavioural competencies and discovering individual leadership styles, Mapping the past of the organization and create deeper knowledge of the original Vision & Mission, Introspect on the present of the organization with analysis of the present eco-system the organization operates in, Integrating the past and the present, craft a sustainable future vision for the organization, using the visual tapestry, and Building consensus on a set of shared values for the organization.
  2. Work of Leaders – The next program is Work of Leaders which is a leadership workshop. Leadership workshop is supported by Everything DiSC Work of Leaders Assessment. This assessment is based on the path-breaking research by Julie Straw that proposes that VAE Model of leadership. The VAE model talks about Vision, Alignment, and Execution, and the workshop aids in raising the spirits of leaders to realize their own leadership behaviours and its effectiveness on others. Everything DiSC Work of Leaders stimulates fresh conversations and perspectives regardless of the leader’s knowledge or experience. It’s an opportunity for leaders at all levels of learning to reflect on how they approach each step of their work. The program aims at connecting unique leadership styles to real-world demands, generating powerful conversations that provide a clear path for action. To quicken this process and achieve greater results the program encompasses sessions that helps understanding behaviour competencies and identifying individual leadership style, knowing about different perspectives and drivers of visioning, aligning and executing and finally to frame few rituals that creates opportunity to use these in practice.
  3. Five Behaviors – The Workshop Five Behaviours is based on the Everything DiSC assessment tool- Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team. This is a learning experience designed for strategic and critical leadership teams. The program addresses the five tenets of teamwork that are the building blocks of any truly cohesive team. The workshop aims to bring together different personalities to build a productive team that focuses on collective results and taps the skills of each individual. The five behaviours are Trust one another, engage in Conflict around ideas, Commit to decisions, hold one another Accountable and focus on achieving collective Results. The session plan of the workshop is planned in such a way that all the needs are met and these five behaviours are understood in depth. This way team cohesion is increased and leads to greater productivity.

The Power of Servant Leadership

In contrast to the typical hierarchy in which employees serve their leaders, the concept of servant leadership implies the primary role of a leader is to serve employees. In his book, Chris Edmonds says that service leadership makes it easy to lead people well. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can lead and serve. Nowadays, servant leadership is about enhancing people’s lives and building better companies. Serve your employees by putting their needs first and making it easy for them to perform and grow.

Despite modern enhancements, this age-old concept is rarely practised, even though we understand it. Studies show that leaders and organizations can succeed with a servant and collaborative mindset. Why isn’t servant leadership more prevalent if it’s so effective?

You can adopt servant leadership by following these principles:

Create a Collaborative Mindset: Service leaders who have a collaborative mindset work with employees and the company to make a win-win situation. Each individual develops both personally and professionally.

Building Trust: Servant leaders delegate instead of micromanaging and give constructive feedback. In addition to increasing accountability within teams, this freedom also fosters innovation.

Listen Actively: When servant leaders allow employees to share their opinions, they usually say “Help me understand” or “Tell me more”. By understanding others’ perspectives, leaders can make employees feel important and understand their perspectives.

Influence: Most people think that grabbing power will help them gain influence. Servant leaders, however, inspire through storytelling – they share their experiences and learning. In this way, employees can use knowledge, innovate, make smart decisions, and grow.