Organizations need to develop leaders and prepare them for organizational changes at all levels. In today’s hypercompetitive and dynamic business environment leadership needs to be primed for growth at every level. As individuals attempt to improve their day-to-day performance while not losing sight of the bigger picture for their own careers as well as the organization’s goals. However, there is much more to leadership development than just that.

An Ongoing Investment

More often than not, management typically turns to leadership development only when they discover that they are lacking strong leadership candidates. But leadership skills aren’t something that can be activated with a flip of a switch. Leadership development is not a series of motions that an employee passively undergoes.

Leadership development is a holistic process through which individuals are nurtured and cultivated to strengthen their skills, talents, and everything that comes under the umbrella of “potential” – both latent and apparent. Both the employee and the employer actively engage in the process, leading to the outcome of the employee’s career trajectory being determined. It is not about a short-sighted filling up of a position, or meeting the need of the hour. That is to say, that leadership development is a future-oriented strategy.

The two types of leadership development strategies that have proven to be most effective in this regard are:

  1. Self-Driven Development

This type of leadership development begins with the on-boarding of new talent and guiding the new employee to chalk out their own career path. Resources like self-assessments and development plans allow both the employee and the manager to understand which role in the company is the best fit, and how the two must work towards advanced leadership roles for the future.

  1. Mentoring for Leadership

Employers need to retain employees long enough for them to thoroughly understand the company’s processes and organizational culture. An effective mentoring or coaching program ensures that retention improves by providing the necessary guidance and support to enhance the employees’ skill base and their experience within the company. Integrated mentoring enables the accurate selection of high-potential employees to train them for leadership roles and identifying future managers.

Technology for Leadership Development

There was a time when leadership development was only meant for a select few among the many employees. But with the deployment of technology, leadership development can and must be extended across the board, percolating through all the levels of the workforce. Integrated talent development software helps organizations make leadership development an essential process, and develop their workforce right from the onboarding stage, making them ready for critical leadership roles in the future.