Principles of Leadership Development mike cardus

“Don’t ever criticize a manager for not being a leader if no one has ever told them their role. Rather criticize the inept organization that appointed them.” – John Adair

Does leadership development need boundaries, or does it just happen organically within the organization?

This question made me flounder for a bit due to my thinking that people ought to be who they are and be able to develop on their terms vs. my System-Drive-Behavior thinking.

As we spoke, I shared the 7 Principles for Leadership Development established when I constructed a corporation’s Leadership University with its CEO, HR director, and staff from multiple departments.

  1. Necessary Skilled-Knowledge
  2. Selection for leadership
  3. Using Existing Leaders as Mentors
  4. Education of Leadership
  5. Strategy for Leadership Development
  6. Integrate Executive Leadership & Coaching
  7. The Chance to Lead

Sharing the leadership development principles to an organization looking to develop leaders internally with little to no outside assistance (i.e., consultants who do not know the internal politics and work), we began to see how each principle can work to support the progress of the organization.

Necessary Skilled-Knowledge
  • The necessary skills for managerial leaders to be able to complete their work, reproducing practices and procedures with the knowledge of the steps to complete the work and be able to articulate to others what procedures are followed.
Selection for Leadership
  • Why, who, what, how of identifying the people involved in the leadership development. Knowing that those you exclude sends a stronger message than those you include.
  • Choosing who and how they will come to have leadership accountability and whose work they will be accountable for is necessary for leadership development.
Using current leaders as mentors
  • Developing a mentoring process with current leadership is a way to create discussion and a shared language of work between the leadership participants and those doing the work.
  • Bringing the leadership development to a practical level focuses on what matters, seeing the work get done and having the opportunity to ask questions, and having someone with skilled knowledge answer those questions.
Education of Leadership
  • Combined elements of leadership development, leadership mentoring, individual coaching, and team building into one process.
  • The length of each person’s leadership education time in the process varied. They were involved until they were identified as reaching capacity, having mastery of the skilled-knowledge areas, and having the ability to fill management and individual contributor positions.
Strategy for Leadership Development
  • Strategy within leadership development focuses on the whole of the organization and uses systems-thinking to see how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Strategy for leadership development has to focus on 3 Pillars: Long-Term; Importance; Multi-Departmental
Integrate Executive Leadership & Coaching
  • The Executive Leadership is a large part of determining the needed Skilled-Knowledgidentifyingentify through the Talent Pool Assessment the vacancies and strengths projected over the next 3, 5, 10 and 15 years.
  • Involving the executive management team will ensure that mentoring and development are a part of the Organizational Metrics, using criteria in the shared strategy and skilled-knowledge. Also, these would be part of the monthly, quarterly, six-month, and yearly performance reviews.
The Chance to Lead
  • Provide opportunities to lead and learn from the experience. Work with the participants and the management team to develop a series of team projects aligned with the company’s strategic plan and offer a challenge that is big enough to stretch and small enough to learn from.

When these leadership development principles are set as boundaries and discussion points, the team can focus on achieving sustainable improvement of the organization.