“Everything rises and falls on leadership.” John C. Maxwell
Leadership development is the most important and indispensable asset for the success of any organization. Good leadership must continually be developed as it is always needed to allow a company to raise its image in the corporate world and not falter on stakeholder commitments or any challenges which the company may encounter. Murphy & Riggio (2003) pinpoints that “leaders must be prepared to navigate smooth rapid transitions across a range of leader behaviors in response to situational demands, as well as navigate smooth transitions between leadership and fellowship”. There are several benefits of leadership development which can cumulatively lead to this result, four of these benefits will be discussed.
FOUR BENEFITS OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT.
Increase in Employee Engagement
Harter & Mann (2017) state that 51 % of the US workforce is not engaged but illustrated that highly engaged teams show greater profitability by 21%. Courtney (2015) mention that engagement in an organization is impacted by leadership development when feedback from successful leaders motivates and enhances the skill level of workers.
Lawson (2008) states that is it essential that companies recognize and cultivate leadership talent from within. It has been found that poor leadership development results in high-capacity managers leaving the organization for better growth opportunities, creating a brain drain on the business. Another aspect is when there is no effective leadership, there is a high turn-over rate as workers do not appreciate working with ineffective leaders.
They are more contented when upper management has skills that show their competency and in turn, they have confidence in management and the company. A win-win situation is a result as the company saves on recruiting expenses and retain contended and productive employees.
Effective leadership skills implementation provide direction and motivate workers. A great leader can guide their staff to give more than enough of what is expected from their position and job description.
Having a Competitive Advantage
Skilled leaders at all levels of an organization are the best creators of a competitive advantage as their contribution achieves the best results for the company. The leaders of a company represent the brand of the company and ultimately the company’s bottom line. The image of competent leaders and contended employees encourages the consumer to invest in products and services, impacting finances positively.
WHY USING AN EXTERNAL PARTNER IS IDEAL?
There is a thought that leader development training should be the function of the human resources department. However, using the ideology of the Johari Window, it is best to use an external partner to offer this training. Johari Window demonstrates that there are situations where areas that need to be addressed are challenges where some persons on the organization are aware of and not others and other challenges that no one in the team knows about.
As a contractor with the organization the training consultant shows commitment and objectivity. Also, the external entity can holistically provide mentoring, coaching and performance management with the team. Effective development consultants keep themselves separate from their clients and do not get involved in the undercurrents and emotions of the organization they are working with.
In addition, Ryan (2008) explains that the skilled development consultants know when to be “prescriptive”, strict, and the time and manner to give expert advice. They understand that at times that will need to sit back and to act as a catalyst for the group to direct their activities themselves.
Ryan (2008) further provides other valid points on the benefits of external providers such as:
- “Provide skills not available internally
- Being objective in their viewpoint
- Challenging perceptions and asking the obvious questions
- Bringing external expertise and experience
- Not being constrained by internal hierarchy and position
- Being seen to have higher credibility…
- Being a specialist in the particular work area and therefore having functional or sector expertise”. (p.222)
In these changing times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, leadership development is more paramount. The most educated and experienced employee cannot currently function under poor leadership. There must be a continuous leadership development taught by external partners to all levels of an organization, as new skills must be learned to ensure business continuity. It is not the time to shirk on the benefits of leadership development, continuous learning needs of all levels in a fast-paced demanding, and changing environment is the key to maintaining a competitive advantage as companies grabble with the pandemic.
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