Got Leadership?

Posted: December 28, 2014 in Uncategorized
  • Does the organization have strong leaders who are still growing and developing themselves?
  • Does the organization have a well-thought out leadership development program, that includes classroom training, coaching, and mentoring?
  • Does the organization measure the performance of those in leadership?
  • Does the organization hire, promote, and dismiss based on leadership performance?

These are just some of the questions that an organization needs to ask itself to honestly answer the first question. And if an organization can answer positively to these questions, it is highly likely that they have a strong leadership culture. If there is no evidence that supports positive answers to these questions, then the answer to the initial question has to be “No,” and the next question that naturally flows from that is, “Why not?:”

I can think of a lot of answers that might be given… “You can’t teach leadership. It just has to happens!” “We hire people the best people.” “The style of leadership that we need will be developed on the job.” “We have a great process or system, so leadership is only important at the top levels of the organization.” “We don’t have time to train people. We are too busy.” Besides being short-sighted, most of those answers display a great misunderstanding of leadership and the impact good leadership can have on any organization. There are numerous studies that have shown that leadership does matter to the overall health and performance of an organization, and that the organizations with a strong leadership development program outperform those that don’t.

In a recent study from the independent research firm Bersin & Associates, the results showed “leadership development matters. It is hard to find a company which has survived many economic cycles that does not have a [sophisticated] leadership development strategy in place. While it may take many years to develop and refine, the results clearly pay off.” Here are just a few statistics from the studies on this topic. Companies with leadership development programs are:

  • 84 % more effective in developing the leadership pipeline
  • 73 % more effective at improving employee retention
  • 67 % more effective at increasing engagement, retention, and teamwork of their leaders

In a 2007 Harvard Business Review study by Laurie Bassie and Daniel McMurrer concluded that “Companies with high scores for their investments in human capital delivered stock market returns that were five times higher than that of companies with less emphasis on human capital.” In another study by Bassie and McMurrer, they found that companies with strong human capital practices provided shareholder returns three times greater than those without those strong practices. Leadership does make a huge difference in any organization, and a strong and a well-thought out leadership development program is key to an organizations long-term health and performance!

So let me ask again, “Does leadership matter to your organization?”

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