On Improving Leadership

By: Bart Icles

It is important that organizations should give time in improving the quality of its leadership. Enhancing the quality of leadership in an organization is not only for the personal growth of its leaders but also for the development of the business as a whole. Most organizations these days believe that leadership development drives the business. Enhancing leadership should not only be limited to top level officers but, it must involve all the individuals in the organization who, in one way or another, assume leadership roles.
Developing leadership in organizations involves a lot of factors. These include training strategies, coaching and mentoring, analysis of learning styles, job competencies design, job competencies support, succession planning, personal and business growth, and self development, interpersonal and social influence processes, team dynamics, perception of the organizational climate, social network linkages, and a lot of other elements.
Leadership development usually concentrates on enhancing the leadership aptitude, attitude, and skills of individuals. People often ask if leaders are made or born - leaders are in fact all born but not all of them are born as great leaders or managers or executives. Leaders are born with different potentials to lead well. People have diverse personal characteristics that can facilitate or hold back a person's effectiveness in leading.
Leadership can also developed at a collective level through reinforcing the link between and alignment of efforts of individual leaders and the structures through which they affect organizational processes. This view has recently given rise to the distinction between leader development and leadership development: leader development focuses on the development of the leader while leadership development focuses on the development of leadership as a process.
The most common method in rolling out leadership development programs is through classroom trainings. It is also believed that classroom style trainings and related readings are most effective in helping leaders to learn more about the different factors involved in leading well. However, leaders must remember that they should not stop at knowing what to do. In order for learned behavior to be applied to everyday work and develop into sustained behavioral change, leaders must always remember that they should put into practice the things they have learned in the classroom and in their readings.
Achieving success in leadership development endeavors has often been associated with the learning aptitude and the characteristics of the leader, the kind and quality of the leadership development program, and the kind of support for behavioral change given by a leader's supervisor. There are also personal traits that have been related to successful leadership development. These include the motivation of the leader to learn, a leader's determination to achieve, self-monitoring, and more.

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