Leadership Development Challenges & Imperatives

Ashish Arora, Founder & Managing Director, HR Anexi In today’s complex and volatile business environment, there is a need for far stronger leadership at all levels, leadership that is totally aligned with the organization’s vision and takes ownership to deliver that vision. Enough has been talked and written about Leadership Development, how ever,my belief is that it must deliver on the following three counts:

1. It must be treated with strategic priority and not just a fad/KPI driven intervention and thus must impact organizational results;
2. The intervention must not be restricted to senior management, but instead offered across management levels;
3. It must develop a strong pipeline, creating opportunities for growth from within

Investing in development opportunities for leaders is what differentiates great businesses from the mediocre. It therefore goes without saying the Leadership Development is a multifaceted effort and continual process. It includes peer and executive coaching, online personality and behavioural assessments, style and culture inventories, incisive and intensive feedback, with a wide range of mentoring strategies, extensive use of real life simulations in addition to action learning like live project assignments and corporate task forces. It is
imperative to ensure the design provides the time to drive the individual reflection of personal values and taps into the motivation of the person behind the title.

A key to effective leadership development is to help the senior team members practice‘discussing the undiscussable’or the issues that no one wants to talk about but are definitely harmful to the team’s effectiveness. Another area we focus on is to guide agreement on how the leaders will hold each other accountable to goal accomplishment.

It is important to also understand the challenges leaders at all levels face in staying true to their personal convictions, with the need to acting swiftly in times of uncertainty while being accountable for business and all the while inspiring others to do their best. Although traditional management skills and business competence gets executives promoted, it is true that being trust worthy demonstrating empathy are the characteristics that differentiate truly exceptional leaders. There fore any leadership development needs an unconditional commitment to providing practical leadership knowledge and tools for not only managing employees’ unique talents but also propel the business forward. There fore Leadership Development requires dedicated learning, graded reinforcements, and practical exposure - by default mandating a planned approach over 12-18 months.

Driving Leadership Development
Leadership Development represents an investment in the organization's legacy. More and more organizations have started to realize that Leadership Development programs represent their business's future. Therefore,those driving Leadership Development must have a deep understanding of the organization’s processes, strategies, culture,and practices and proceed to weave together an instructional design that is not ephemeral and safe but one that is bold enough to make a difference.

The design must take into consideration that the leadership journeys begin with self- awareness; a road to in ner growth that helps leaders recognize their own unique capabilities and passions which are essential in responding to the leadership call! As the journey gathers momentum, leaders are skilled on mission critical aspects of driving engagement for teams, coaching for performance, managing managers and outperforming the competition.