Thursday, August 10, 2006

Leadership Development

I was coaching a CEO just recently who was brilliant and really good at strategic thinking and planning but had a huge underdeveloped capacity around growing people and the whole area of leadership development. It was a huge risk, not only for him, but for his firm as well. And this is a most common issue that we see around partial leadership in large and small companies today, the over focus on head.

We also see that there are some people who really are good at inspiring, and motivating, connecting with people through loyalty and commitment. We call these heart leaders and they really are good in the short term at inspiring people to perform, but sometimes over the long term can’t make the tough choices that are needed for success or they can't give tough feedback or make hard decisions around letting people go.

And then finally we have seen some very intuitive and instinctive guts leaders we call them, who can make bold moves, who can act with little data. They may really attract attention in the short term, take big risks, but in the long term they may get caught up in the drama of their bold moves.

Organizations typically focus on developing leaders at Senior or Top management level but rarely focus on developing leadership skills at middle and junior level. A close look at any organizational functioning will reveal that leadership at the middle management level is the critical factor for organizations success.

Employee’s perception of organizations functioning is seldom driven by the leadership at senior level, it the middle management level which does the balancing act of managing teams and project execution. Attrition, team engagement and productivity is directly connected to Managers ability to manage teams. I’m sure greater efforts on managing talent and developing leaders at middle management level does more than any other retention Strategy of the organization.

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