How Leadership Development Helps Meet Corporate Goals
How Leadership Development Helps Meet Corporate Goals

How Leadership Development Helps Meet Corporate Goals

Leadership Development, Employee Learning & Development, Company Culture   — 4 MIN


The 2023 Global Human Capital Trends survey conducted by Deloitte found that 94% of respondents recognized that their organization’s success depended on the effectiveness of its leadership. However, only 23% felt their leaders had the capabilities needed for the task. There are endless articles written about training people to boost those specific skills that define strong leadership. And while those skills are essential, it’s often less clear why developing good leaders in-house matters so much to the business as a whole.

It’s not enough to agree that leadership development is a good thing. But often, that sentiment does not line up with any concrete action items. Without understanding the goals of development programs—for individuals as well as the company—it’s hard to justify the investment of time and money to upper management or to get buy-in from those on the leadership track

Until leadership development becomes a priority, companies will be stuck in a holding pattern—using whatever is cheap and easy—and seeing few if any results.

What defines good leadership

It is helpful to begin the conversation about leadership by addressing those all-important skills that define it. Effective leaders share the following characteristics and abilities:

Even the most successful leaders are said to get only 30% of these leadership abilities from genetics (roughly). The rest is learned through life experiences and training. The fact that people can be taught how to lead is compelling. But it’s not always enough to persuade the powers that be to implement a leadership development program. They must also understand how leadership programs impact the individual leader or team and the entire organization.

What leadership development brings to the table

A great leadership development program is a win-win, benefiting everyone in the company, regardless of whether they are the ones to receive training or not.

Leadership development for the individual

Employees who are selected for training in management and leadership benefit in multiple ways. The most obvious is the opportunity to perfect all of the skills mentioned above. Once learned, these abilities can be tapped into in any situation throughout the person’s future career.

Through personal leadership development, people gain confidence and a stronger sense of self-worth and empowerment. They learn to develop strategies to overcome obstacles at work and in their lives. Better communication and collaboration can enhance both their professional and personal relationships. 

Leadership development and teams

Teams with managers who have gone through leadership training benefit too. Leading by example creates a positive environment where everyone is empowered to work toward a common goal. This also leads to greater employee engagement, resulting in more creative collaboration, improved productivity, and better conflict resolution. 

Leaders learn how to create an environment of psychological safety for their teams. More positive outcomes at work lead to team members' sense of well-being, and ultimately better retention.

“What’s in it for us?” The outcomes that organizations want from leadership development programs

There is no downside to establishing a corporate culture that values good leadership. Strong leaders help create a better working environment where employees are motivated to be more efficient and productive—things that are bound to show up on the bottom line.

While the promise of a great corporate culture is a worthy incentive, the C-suite understandably wants to know what else an investment in a leadership development program may bring. 

A deeper, more flexible management bench

Change is essential for growth, yet every organization struggles with navigating changes in the workplace. Leadership development helps managers face any change or disruption in routine by teaching agility. When those leaders lead by example, their teams will be ready for anything too.

And having multiple people in leadership roles provides a larger and more diverse talent pool. This is essential for any company hoping for growth. Taping into a roster of well-rounded, flexible leaders for new projects can give an organization a competitive edge. Conversely, relying on the skills of a select few can hold the company back from seizing future opportunities.

The next generation of leaders

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years employees stay in one job is only slightly more than four. Older workers tend to stay longer, but still top out at less than 10 years.

While it may seem counterintuitive to invest in training for people who might leave, the right leadership development program will have the opposite effect. Positive personal development and improved corporate culture can boost the sense of loyalty so employees want to stay. The result is a solid succession plan by continually preparing a new group of leaders.

An innovative edge

With a growth mindset and the ability to motivate others, leaders can drive innovation. Good leadership fosters communication and collaboration by ensuring that everyone on the team has a chance to have their ideas heard.

New ideas are the key for any company hoping to lead its industry. Fostering an innovative mindset is one of the primary goals of development programs.  

Attractive to top talent

As mentioned above, leadership development can set the stage for employee longevity within the company. An effective leadership development program can also be a great recruiting tool.

People who are top of their field expect and demand opportunities for advancement. Having the right program in place shows candidates that the organization values their personal development. Showing a willingness to invest in their professional future can be a huge selling point.

What to look for in leadership development tools

Far too many businesses opt for a DIY approach instead of launching a formal leadership development program. They may use informal training methods, such as sending managers to the occasional conference or workshop or suggesting reading materials. Job shadowing or an informal mentor program may be a bit better, but these place the responsibility of “showing the ropes” on someone who may not have had a chance to develop the necessary leadership skills.

A learning platform like Blue Ocean Brain’s, on the other hand, provides a proven, structured method of teaching professional leadership skills. When searching for leadership development options, consider the following:

Skills Training. First and foremost, the goals of development programs should be to teach all of the interpersonal soft skills necessary in today’s corporate culture.

Self-Directed Microlearning. Look for targeted lessons that address the topics that are most important to the organization. Offering content in easily accessible, bite-sized courses makes it easy for employees to work at their own pace. They can complete sessions wherever and whenever it’s convenient.

Trackability. Management will need to assess employees’ progress. Being able to measure the engagement and aptitude of leaders at every level is a necessity.

Career Pathway Guidance. Leadership development programs should not only teach the necessary skills but also lay out structured steps along the way toward an employee’s leadership goals.

Wondering if Blue Ocean Brain’s leadership development program aligns with your organization’s goals? Schedule a consultation to learn more.