In this blog TPC Leadership founder Charles Brook discusses the need for better leadership development for emerging leaders.  Even with our current disturbance to existing working practices, it’s essential to ensure emerging leaders are equipped to lead in the new working environments that are rapidly becoming established. 

Every organisation plans for growth, but not everyone attains it.

Leadership development for emerging leaders is arguably the most pressing challenge facing organisations today. A report by Deloitte in 2019 revealed that 86% of companies believe the situation to be ‘urgent’ or important,’ yet only 14% claim to develop global leaders excellently. This is not something that we can easily overlook. 

At first glance, with $40 billion invested annually (according to Boston Consulting Group), leadership training in the present moment can seem a bloated affair. But the flipside is seen in the financial results of those companies rated strongest on BCG’s 20 leadership and talent management capabilities – they increase their revenues 2.2 times and their profits 1.5 times faster than the companies rated weakest.

A new people strategy is critical

The expressions “to get the best out of someone” and “your hidden potential” imply that more lies within the person waiting to be released.” – John Whitmore

Here’s the thing. Employees say that developing their own leadership skills is the No.1 reason for staying with their organisation. Unless companies are willing to confront their approach to leadership development, their leaders will migrate elsewhere, searching for an opportunity to become something more.

Every seed wants to grow. Although defective seeds do exist, it is usually other conditions – the soil, the light, the space – that determine whether growth is stunted or explosive. When our people strategy is off kilter, our organisations will be hollowed out by the migration of frustrated leaders. More than that, we might struggle to attract anyone with the same level of potential. So how do we make sure our leaders can grow?

Looking beyond traditional leadership skills

“Organisations have grown skilled at developing individual leader competencies, but have mostly ignored the challenge of transforming their leader’s mind-set from one level to the next. ”– John McGuire and Gary Rhodes. Transforming Your Leadership Culture, The Centre for Creative Leadership

When we think of developing leadership skills, what are we imagining? Does our mind jump to management techniques and theory? Or persuading people to be more like a particular personality type? What does real growth actually look like?

If the growth of our organisations is to be secured, we need leaders who are ready and willing to upgrade their way of thinking. For their emotional intelligence to be increased at the same time as their understanding of key principles. We cannot simply add more knowledge on top of existing knowledge. Otherwise nothing will truly ever really shift.

It is this deeper, emotional level of development that creates in leaders the capacity for creative risk-taking, powerful communication and the ability to thrive under pressure.. As John McGuire and Gary Rhodes explain, “Today’s horizontal development within a mind-set must give way to the vertical development of bigger minds.” To get an idea of the kind of leadership coaches that can achieve this, check our 15 signs a coach can deliver what they claim.

Creating room for the exponential

Managers tend to be too risk averse: they focus on the costs of investing in bad ideas rather than the benefits of piloting good ones.’ – Adam Grant, organisational psychologist. Originals

Although you can predict the effect leadership development will have on an individual, you can never truly estimate the impact it will have on the organisation. Ultimately, the greatest organisations to date have been formed because of the quality of the people within them – it is the people who determine the strategy, develop ideas and solve problems daily: The best ideas can come from anywhere.

If we are content to trundle along, expecting the next five years to be much like the last, then maybe we can afford to keep on keeping on. But if we desire to grow, if we long to make a real impact in the world, we have to invest in the leaders and emerging leaders within our organisations.

For more information, or to discuss your own development, please get in touch.