What is Executive Leadership Development? Ask large groups of people in a meeting in a corporation – How many of you have worked for a really great Leader? There will be some hesitation and then about 10% to 30% raise their hand. Then ask how many of you have worked for 2 really great leaders and the audience will laugh. Corporate America is in need of executive leadership development programs that produce really great leaders; just look at the current financial situation in our country and its cause(s).
Contrary to public opinion really great leaders develop over time from training and experiences. People showing the capacity and desire to be top leaders should be given various assignments and receive training in processes they can use to overcome obstacles and get the right things done using people. They also learn by being on teams led by really great leaders.
Most leading corporations have formal and comprehensive executive leader development plans. They go far beyond sending executives and top managers to standardized programs for executives conducted by leading Universities or paying for executives to get additional degrees while still working.
Sample Executive Leadership Development Process:
The following is an example list of items that comprise a continuing on-the-job executive leadership development process. Usually this list would be reviewed by a company’s executive team and president to tailor it to their specific needs and issues. Based on the Executive’s input the list would be refined and target implementation dates established.
1. Leader Assessment and Feedback Process – Comprehensive and regular assessment of skills with developmental feedback.
2. Individual Development Plans – training and assignment to develop and use new skills.
3. Curriculum for Executives – targeted skills and knowledge needed.
4. Curriculum for Managers targeted skills and knowledge needed.
5. Leader Alignment Sessions – Structured process for leaders to work in concert to achieve company goals.
6. Development Activities Aligned with Leadership Attributes, Management Skills and Experiences.
a. Custom “company specific” classes
b. Tailored classes to fit “company” needs – company examples and cases.
c. External classes / seminars – where tailored or customer are not necessary.
d. Cross functional working sessions – to address problems that cross departmental lines.
e. Coaching process- internal or external coaches that support development.
f. Mentoring process-Senior, people working with more Junior.
g. Rotation opportunities-assignments for breadth and depth.
h. Structure to plan for movement in the company.
i. Special projects-to develop skills, company knowledge and demonstrate abilities.
7. Leaders as Facilitators classes-by training others leaders develop their own skills.
8. Follow-up and Individual Development Assessment.
9. Infrastructure to support Leadership Development.
Executive Leadership Development is comprised of on the job learning from senior executives coupled with company/corporate-wide programs that includes tools and processes to help leaders become great leaders. Programs like this can greatly improve the day-to-day management of organizations in which they are implemented. For more information, visit BradleyLambert.