HRS professionals are given o task not only to attract and recruit sufficient talented workforce and to keep them in the pipeline but also to develop leaders for succession planning. HRS professionals are expected to provide the essential frameworks, tools and methods of developing potential leaders (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2005). Developing leaders has never been so important and there is a substantial research regarding the importance of leadership and leadership development to organizational success (Tubs et al, 2009).
Recent major events affecting the world posed new challenges to leaders of organizations to survive and succeed in difficult times. Leaders need to be developed with some broad generalist capabilities. Being great in one part of the business is not enough. Creating adaptive and integrative leadership need to be built in the leadership curriculum (Giber et al, 2009). Effective leadership development program will enable organizations to have sustainable competitive advantage. Can leadership be taught and learned? One of the most frequently raised concern is whether leaders can be trained and developed.
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The answer is qualified yes. Some aspects of leadership are learnable and some are less so (Tubs et al, 2009). Leadership is often discussed n terms of competencies (Buenos and Tubs (2004), Wheaton and Cameron, 2005). Competencies can be described by the acronym ASK, knowledge, skills and abilities. The leadership competencies can be represented by three concentric circles. These circles describe three distinct aspects of leadership. The innermost circle represents the individual’s core personality. Personality engulf the overall profile or combination of characteristics that captures the unique nature of a person.
Personality is shaped by heredity and external factors i. E cultural, familial and social interactions (Shoehorning et al, 2008). The big five personality dimensions are extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience (Shoehorning et al, 2008). Personality is argued to be less likely to change. Even so one’s personality is hard to change but s it possible. The second circle represents the values that one possessed. One’s values are developed and influenced by culture, parents , siblings, friends, education, experience and other external sources (Shoehorning et al, 2008).
Values are likely to be deep rooted and difficult to change but not impossible. Personality and values affects one’s behavior. The outermost circle are behaviors that are most likely to change through leadership development efforts. What are the most proven approaches to leadership development programs Developing leaders cannot be done overnight. It is a lengthy process and the critical issue in practice is to determine what are the approaches to leadership development systems and what is the best approach .
Based on Gerber et al, (2009) suggest the following as the most proven approach to leadership development system. Firstly organizations future business strategies need to be identified. A leadership development system entails identifying the true capabilities and challenges of leadership. Secondly assessment of the current capabilities and what need to be done to fill the gaps between current and the future needs of leaders to achieve the organization’s strategy. Finally the process of aligning the overall HRS functions to leadership development system and maximize return on investment.
Future Leadership Requirement Analysis The first step of the approach is to identify the critical capabilities of leaders that are needed in the future and this can be determined by a leadership requirement analysis. Once determine they form the foundation with HRS recesses and you need to align with the leadership development tools and processes to deliver the leaders that you want that will deliver the results. The key to the success implementation will be commitment and support from top management or the formation of a leadership development council will certainly be critical.
Identification of critical outputs and competencies are also crucial and oriented towards future business strategy rather than the ones distinguished by leaders in the past. Organizations can opt to choose various ways to generate the list of their future leader’s outputs and competencies. Best practice organizations utilize leadership competency model to build the foundation of leadership development system. The process involved in developing a leadership competency model, basically identifying the competencies and skills required to produce the outputs earlier identified.
Once the crucial competencies have been narrowed down specifically and very clearly then it is depicted graphically in a model that will be shared throughout the organization. Current Leadership Capability Analysis FIGURE 1. 0 ALIGNING LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT WITH STRATEGIC HRS COMPONENTS Business Strategy Leader Selection and Retention Tool s and Processes Future Leadership Requirement Analysis Leadership Development Tools and Processes Performance Management Tools and Processes Source: Adapted from D. Giber et al, Linkage Inc. S “Best Practices in Leadership Development Handbook” 2nd Edition , 2009 Prefer peg. 5 The next step is the current leadership capability analysis. This is to evaluate the capabilities of the organization’s leaders against the future leadership requirements and the end result is to identify the strengths and development opportunities that exist between current leadership capabilities and those squired in the future. The leadership analysis requires an analysis of performance from both the individual and organizational perspective.
Among the assessment tools used are the multilateral leadership assessment or the 360 degree feedback assessments, personality style and motive assessments, internal observations and interviews with peers, managers, subordinates, customers and past performance reviews and appraisals. Best practice organizations used a variety of tools to analyze current organizational performance and this includes the use of employee satisfaction surveys, customer surveys, employee turnover and exit interviews, financial analysis of actual performance versus goals, impact analysis of developmental experiences versus results.
The analysis helps to identify the critical gaps to be closed and highlight the shortfalls if any. Leadership Development Tools and Processes The leader selection and retention tools and processes needed to be fully aligned with the leadership development, performance, succession management tools and processes to ensure to produce quantity and quality leaders. The issues are whether the qualities and competencies so desired can be developed. Once they eave been trained to be highly proficient and they will be highly marketable and employability, will they remain loyal to the organizations.
The drawback is that they are not owned by organizations such as property, plant and machinery. Organizations need to devise retention strategies to retain them. According to Gerber et al (2009) best practice organizations maximize retention by focusing on six dimensions: job satisfaction, salary and benefits, career development, team player, culture and work/life balance. And whether it is cost effective to hire quality leaders that have already possessed those attributes compare trying to evolve one.
Therefore in hiring, the need to coordinate with those involved with the hiring process to assess the leader candidates against the competency model. The most critical advantage is to be able to identify potentials for internal promotion and basically weigh the cost and benefits for external recruitment for all levels of management. The leadership development tools and processes model as depicted below. FIGURE 2. 0 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TOOLS AND PROCESSES MODEL Individual Leadership Capability Assessment Individual Career Patting Individual Development Planning Comprehensive Set Of Leadership Development
Experiences Measurement and Evaluation Development Handbook” 2nd Edition , 2009 Prefer peg. 13 The objective of a leadership development tools and processes is to recognize, develop and maximize internal leadership talent available within the organization. The model above is used by the best practice organizations to design and implement. In the individual leadership capability assessment phase, the goal is to evaluate and assess the individual leaders’ capabilities to meet the current and future needs of the organization.
The next phase is the individual development planning involve aligning activities and learning with the organization’s expected capabilities required for the current and future needs. Individual career patting involved setting up clear visible opportunities for the individuals to move up the ladder. It is basically assigning the individuals with specific projects or assignments that will require experience, skills and competencies to achieve it.
A comprehensive set of the leadership development experiences ensures the system is flexible that will provide a range of learning experiences to meet the needs of the users based on their competency level and experience. The learning experiences such as on the job activities, project assignments, competency specific training courses, leadership development programs, coaching and mentoring. An effective leadership development system will consists of measurement and evaluation of the key elements indicative of the effectiveness of the system.
Leaders behavioral impact resulting from the leadership development system and overall organizational performance equally measured and evaluated. Performance Management Tools and Processes Performance management tools and processes is to evaluate the outcomes required for the organization current and future success. To recognize, motivate ND reward leaders to develop not only their own capabilities but their team members as well at all levels. Managers who spent their time assisting in developing their team members are recognized and rewarded as well.
The process need to be aligned with the future capabilities identified with in the future leadership requirement analysis. Implement assessment to monitor the extent to which HRS processes are aligned to the leadership development system to ensure that the desired objective of developing quality leaders are met. Critical considerations of leadership development system There are various concerns on the most effective way to develop leaders. Whether a single or combination method is most effective. If combination, which are the most effective?
There also are design and implementation issues. Designing a leadership development system is not a straightforward issue. In fact it is a complex issue but nevertheless crucial to be addressed for it to be effective. Based on Gerber et all, (2009), there are four critical considerations in designing and implementing a leadership development system. The key to an effective leadership system is variety. The various competencies may not e acquired by using only one of two methods. It may require several learning methods.
Variety of methods facilitate methods suitable for different levels of users such as senior level positions may be suitable with coaching methods and those high potentials detected from performance management tools and processes may be suitable with personal leadership development programs. Leadership development should be a continuous process. Organizations’ concerns on cost and benefit of leadership development and not to mention the time factor are influencing the continuity of such programs. Organizations deed to prioritize the objectives of such programs to ensure they are constantly focus on it.
Developing competencies is time consuming and it depends on the capabilities of each individuals. Some are fast learners and may adapt easily in various situations. Leadership development does not exist in a vacuum. It should be align with the companies strategies and the other parts of the organization including HRS processes. Desirable outputs should be identified and they should be integrated with performance management system and link to the reward and compensation system. Leadership development must constantly be reviewed, assured and scrutinized to ensure relevance.
Evaluation of leadership development system is important to ensure its effectiveness in achieving its objectives. How to evaluate and what to evaluate and who to evaluate are some of the concerns. The stake holders will be concern with the results in terms of its return on investment. What are most the widely recognized leadership competencies? One of the most challenging task in designing the leadership development system is to determine what are the most critical competencies in the leaders that are essential and crucial to the current needs of the specific organizations or industries and the future needs as well.
Based on survey done, points that among the top leadership competencies are strategic thinking, talent development, communication, relationship building, team building, organizational alignment, innovation and customer focus (Gerber et al, 2009). Strategic thinking has never been so important since globalization challenges has impacted the way we do business and changes in technology has made things happen at warp speed and increased competition has forced us to think out of the box to gain competitive edge.
Recent global developments in the uncial landscape have put more emphasis on crisis management as one of the top priority of competencies (Charka, 2009). There is a shift from the past competencies of technical competency and knowledge, financial management which is an interesting trend towards soft skills such as communication, team building and honesty and credibility. What are the best most widely used leadership methodologies employed? There is no one best method. Companies may opt to engage combination of methods.
One of the advantages of using combination of methods is that one method may offset the drawbacks of the other methods. MOST WIDELY USED LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGIES Development Handbook” 2nd Edition , 2009 Prefer peg. 427 Among the widely methodologies used are 360 degree feedback, individual development plans, formal and informal coaching and mentoring, leadership development programs, team building, facilitated discussion, exposure to key executives and engaging outside consultants. Usage of technology such as e- learning has gain wide acceptance in leadership methodologies.
It may be cost effective to use technology enable learning methods for global companies especially when they are geographically scattered. For example in 360 degree dieback you will be assessed not only by your superiors but also include your peers or coworkers, subordinates and yourself. A key advantage of 360 degree feedback , it will prompt behavior change (Mellon, 2006) . Managers’ strength and weaknesses may be realistically realized if unknown previously and may prompt to change for the better. Other potential benefits include targeting at organizational change and improvement.
Through 360 degree feedback will encourage a participatory culture and create trust and increase team building culture. Enhancing level of trust and communication will lead increase motivation ND satisfaction among employees and this has some positive effects on performance and productivity. One other apparent benefit is that organization receive multiple feedbacks and criticisms that can balance and neutralize organizational politics that may exist in the organization. However there are disadvantages such as cost and time consuming in administering and processing the large amount of data.
It may affect the bottomless because the extra resources required to handle the work. What are the current and future challenges for leaders? One of the current challenges of leaders and the future would be managing in toxic environment. The entire global economic system has been wounded because of the liquidity crisis erupted in 2008 with the collapse of U. S. Investment banks, management challenges don’t come any bigger than this (Charka, 2009) . In the event when conditions of the battlefield has changed, leaders must be prepared to make strategic, structural, financial and operational changes.
The challenge is to act quickly and decisively to prepare for the worst possible scenario. The uncertainty created by the crisis caused business leaders to rethink and make changes in their strategies. In the face of crisis , leaders deed to be honest to themselves and to the employees and communicate the solutions to overcome it. In the case of Dupont, under the leadership of Chad Holiday DuPont CEO, the company’s initial reaction of the spreading economic crisis took place less than six weeks.
DuPont strategy of communicating with the employees and cash conservation and reduction of cost paid off. Even as the immediate crisis measures were being put through, DuPont had three person team of top executives looking at the longer term actions of the company needed to take. Chad Holiday took charge, pull people together and took decisive action ender the face of uncertainty is what every leader must do (Charka, 2009). Business leaders need to adjust their mentality from single minded pursuit of growth and market share to cash efficiency and profitability.
Companies need to reduce overall market share, cut product lines, prune customer base and try to gain share in markets that are cash affiance and profitable segments. In a volatile environment leaders need to be involved and follow through and visible in the day to day plans and operations. The longer term strategic plans are still important but what is more crucial need to be addressed immediately. One advantage is that countermeasures can be taken swiftly to address unfavorable conditions detected. Quarterly or monthly information may be too late to be acted upon.
Leaders need to be agile and flexible and pick up the early warning signals so that modifications can be done when conditions change. This requires increase in frequency of control in terms getting and tracking information on weekly and daily basis. Budgets should be prepared on a monthly or even in weekly basis instead of the traditional yearly basis and planning around it (Charka, 2009). Charka (2009) has outlined the six essential raids and behaviors that a good leader should have for managing downturn . Firstly is honesty and credibility. Being frank with your employees and getting their views .
Basically to get them understand and accept the situation and work together to implement the solutions. Secondly, the ability to inspire. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Is the time for leaders to lead the team and inspire the rest. Leaders set the priorities and visions for others to follow. Thirdly, real time connection with reality. Gather all information even from unconventional means and continuously monitoring change. Fourthly, realism tempered with optimism. Basically to be realistic and optimistic at the same time in facing hard times. Fifthly, managing with intensity.
Leaders should have deeper personal involvement with the operations, to act with speed in volatile conditions and to work as a team facing the challenges. Lastly, boldness in building for the future. Even though pressures mount to survive in the short term and the future may seem uncertain, astounding leaders critically bets on the future. Why great leaders need to reproduce great leaders? Organizations need successful leaders to steer it to success. In order to have continuity, successful leaders need to develop other leaders around them . Leaders need to have a team that brings value to the organization.
Thus the ability to acquire, keep and recognize good people is the leader’s important and challenging task. Even the great prophet Muhammad buy, the greatest leader of mankind develop the closest around him to led his amah after he died. Perhaps the need to look at moral and religious values as influencing factor inculcating desirable personal qualities and strengths prerequisite to leadership competencies as far as communication, relationship building, am building and talent management are concern. The closest to the leader will determine the success level of that leader.
Good leaders delegate capable people to support with carrying out important tasks. They alone cannot do it all. They need followers to share their vision. Strong organizations are direct result of strong leaders. The truth is many leaders fail to develop others. This is because they lack training or possess wrong attitudes to encourage or allowing others to come alongside them and they would compete instead of working with them (Maxwell, 1995). Many leaders feel their position threatened when new executives exhibit strong potential to climb up the ladder.
Instead of working side by side they tend to distant themselves and forge alliances with those who are less knowledgeable and more agreeable to them. True leaders should be able to attract potential leaders, inspire new leaders, helping them to develop and hone their skills, create environment that attracts potential leaders and are not threatened by people with great potential ( Maxwell, 1995). Peter Trucker was correct when he said ” No executives has ever suffered because his people were strong and effective. (Maxwell, 1995) Jack Welch of GE, recognized organizations deed to be prepared in all situations that warrant a need to have sufficient pool of potential leaders to select in case of sudden situations that require replacement of current leaders immediately. Perhaps we should ponder what John C. Maxwell said that “All the certificate of recognition we receive in life will fade. The monuments we build will crumble. The trophies will corrode. But what we do for others will make a lasting impact on our world” Why leadership development programs fail?
Leadership development programs fail because it is too elaborate and trying to cover too many areas (Gerber et al, 2009). If it is too complex and require overwhelming administrative support and resources, it is bound to fail. Secondly contribution to its failure attributed to lack of commitment for change. Managers who have achieved certain level of success may believe that their achievement is attributed to their own efforts and abilities. Leadership development works well if the participants feel that there is room for improvement.
Apart from that, failure could stem from lack of support from the top management. You have the Coos who are have first hand information and familiar with the programs ND the processes because of his involvement in the process and constant communication with the people involved and on the other hand you have the ultimate jury who are the board of directors (BODY) who are always at arm’s length of the entire process, are not supportive of the budget and the ongoing process because they may feel that the program does not yield any positive results.
Furthermore measurement of leadership development programs often involved complex and lengthy process to measure the true value of such programs . The evaluation process using Kirkpatrick model may be too ample and do we need to go to such length. Even more harder is to measure the improvement on the soft skills area. Nevertheless it is critical to track and document the learning, the change in behavior and the improvements on the job. Conclusion The issues raised and discussed in this paper with regard to leadership development systems are the current and proven approaches to it and its advantages and disadvantages .
Arguably leadership development could applies to all levels not only to senior level management. It is most appropriate to invest in a leadership development system that starts early and applies at various bevels in the organization. Organizations need to plant the seed, take care of it and nurture it to growth. All efforts of the leadership development process should align with other parts of the organization and the process concurrently be carried out with other processes like performance management and link to compensation system and retention strategies.
Another issue is to understand what are the critical competencies. One interesting question is whether the leaders who have gone through the leadership development process and mastered the competencies are competent? Learning a set list of competencies ay not make a manager competent per SE (Mentoring , 2004). In a dynamic world that pose dynamic challenges as such that identifying most relevant and critical competencies may not be a walk in the park. Leaders need to be versatile and keep abreast with the challenges in an ever changing dynamic business world.
Leadership scholars and business consultants need to focus on competencies that are relevant in designing and developing most effective models in leadership development system (S. Tubs, 2005). Apart from the existing leadership development methods, some more new methods are needed. It is suggested more experiential learning (like sending managers out into challenging guided assignments and project work in and outside the company), more longitudinal learning (like bringing managers together in group sessions to reflect and consult over time), more peer assisted learning, more reflective learning groups and the like.