Crossing LeadershipTRAX

We talk about it a lot. We know we need it. We look for it. But what is
Leadership Development? When I want to understand something I usually
turn to a dictionary to get a definition. Well last night I was thinking about
leadership development and it hit me – I’ve never defined it. Since I
couldn’t find a definition in my dictionary I decided to take a swing at it
myself. So here you go Mr. Webster, this one’s for you: Leadership
development is an intentional process in which one interacts with an
experienced leader in order grow in the character and competencies that
increase their effectiveness in influencing people, culture and outcomes.

Each phrase is important…

Intentional process – too often we try to develop leaders without having a well thought out
process. We say, “our leadership development is organic”. Another
way to put it is “our leadership development is accidental”.

Interacts with– Leadership development must be relational. It’s a two way not a one way
relationship. Learning requires interaction, questioning, challenging and

Experienced leader – leaders are produced by leaders. You cannot lead someone where you have
not been yourself. This doesn’t mean the trainer needs to be an expert but
they do need to have experience in leading.

Grow in character and competencies – Leadership is a balance between being and doing, between
spirit and skill. In order to become a more effective leader you must grow
in character and competency.

Increase effectiveness – leadership development is all about improving; becoming better
today than you were yesterday. It’s about growing so you can increase
your impact.

Influencing people, culture and outcomes – As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence”.
Our development efforts must help leaders be more effective at influencing the
attitudes, thoughts and behavior patterns of people. But it goes beyond
that, a leader is also responsible for the corporate culture of his
organization or team. So every leader must learn how to influence the
corporate personality and values of the organization. And finally
leaders are responsible for results, so every leader must increase their
ability to influence the results of their organization.

So if this is the definition the question is: Are we actually doing leadership development?

color:#746357"">Posted by color:#003764"">maclakeVerdana;color:#746357""> | Posted in Leadership Development | Posted on 15-07-2009

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