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6 ways to build successful leadership development programmes

Success is defined by permanent behavioural change in organizations and individuals that is consistent across the organization. Here are a further six factors that will help guide you on the road to successful leadership development

1. Models are not the defining factor. My research indicates that it does not matter much what model of leadership you select. The people who market those models want you to believe that what they offer is completely different from anyone else. The truth is that the competencies are similar, and if you get people on the path towards leadership development, they will find what they need for their own purposes and move forward rapidly.

2. Mindfulness and emotional intelligence endure. Leaders need support as well as offering support to staff. There is an increasing body of research, which indicates that emotional intelligence and mindfulness development, can positively impact on an executives ability to deal with stress and cope with uncertainty.

3. Co-creation is vital. The leadership programme that is developed without any consultation whatsoever with the people on the receiving end, is far less likely to succeed than a similar programme which has done its homework. You should take your time to make sure that your conclusions are right and work with the participants to build the programme.

4. The line manager can make or break a programme. It is hard to deliver successful change in leadership practice without the active participation of the relevant line managers. It seems obvious, however, many programmes still assume that the line manager will offer some support without actually detailing, what that support should be.

5. Learning should be part of the workflow. It is clear from research undertaken by Charles Jennings, as well as insights from his interventions in a large number of significant companies, that learning is reinforced by being part of the workflow, not outside it. Leadership is a critical area where learning in work, and learning as work, reinforces the formal structured learning that is delivered.

6. Individual change occurs when both the group and the organization are involved. The idea that a leader is an island separate and self-contained is increasingly naive. All of the great thinkers on leadership talk about leading in context, and about followership. You should develop leadership in organizations not just leaders.