Closing the Leadership Gap – Part 1

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Why Leadership Development Should Pay For Itself

No doubt, many of you will have run leadership development courses for your business. Many of you will have been on courses and come back with fresh enthusiasm. Chances are, however, the benefits faded quickly.

Leadership development is not an auxiliary to be tacked onto the side of your business. It should be woven into the fabric of your daily working, treated as an integral part of your strategic process, and (most importantly) pay for itself.

Somewhat counterintuitively, many leadership development courses do not specifically promise a return on investment. This raises the question of what really you can expect to get out of them.

This article will summarise why it absolutely essential you have tangible benefit in mind when undertaking a leadership development program.

Money bag on paper with hand

1 – Why Would you Run the Program?

This is by far the most obvious question you should be asking yourself before beginning a leadership program, but it is amazing just how many times it gets forgotten.

There’s no question that effective leadership development is usually beneficial in some way, but if it does not produce a tangible result to your business, then you should look long and hard as to why the program is being run.

More often than not, the tangible result you should expect will be a positive impact on your bottom line.

2 – Magnify the Effects of Leaders

This second point is more subtle.

Leaders are paid a lot of money to produce results. Usually, these results are financial. When running a leadership program you should bear in mind that its primary purpose is to build and develop leaders. Your leaders should, in short, become better at what they do.

What are the implications of this? It means your leaders should become even more adept at producing financial returns for your business than they already are. If you do not see this happening after sufficient time has passed, it’s time to seriously consider what you are getting out of the program.

 

3 – Leadership Development Serves Your Business

This is a trap a lot of businesses fall into. A slick sales pitch can be hard to resist, but you should always remember tThis picture means a company or country through internal efforts and cooperate to achieve economic growth, to be successfulhat the purpose of every development program is to serve your business.

Others might try and sell a particular style of leadership training, insisting that it is the hidden secret that will transform your business. Worse still, others might simply try to sell leadership development with no real understanding of how your business functions.

The sad truth is that this simply doesn’t work. There is no ‘one size fits all’ development program – truly effective leadership must be tailored to the needs and structure of your business. 

Your business does not exist to prop up a particular style of leadership, leadership development exists to serve your business. Expecting a tangible, financial return is the way you demonstrate this.


John

John Sutherland is the managing director of Strategic Resource, one of the UK’s top management due diligence and leadership development firms.

If you’re interested in developing leaders who hit the numbers, why not get in touch and find out how Strategic Resource can help you?

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