How Investing In Leadership Development Activities Drives Business Results


If there is one thing that many top performing organizations attribute their success to, it’s having a great leader.

Without a strong leader many of the largest corporations today may not be as successful as they are – leaders like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates create results.

Although a strong leader is essential to developing a successful business, research has shown that a well-developed leadership strategy is the real driver of results.

By developing a rich leadership strategy and investing in leadership development programs, many organizations have been able to see increased revenue, employee engagement, and customer loyalty. The most successful companies link their business strategy to their leadership strategy and invest in leadership development programs heavily. These top-performing companies understand the importance of developing their leaders and achieve great improvements as a result.

Research by Bersin & Associates has shown that high-performing organizations with successful leadership development programs do the following:

1. They align the business strategy to their leadership strategy which is aligned to their leadership development strategy

By aligning the business strategy to leadership strategy, organizations can then start to see how in order to improve customer satisfaction for example, managers and leaders must develop their communication skills in order to engage and educate the front line effectively.

IBM, rated #1 for leadership in the world by Aon Hewitt, ensures that leadership skills and behaviors align to their business strategy. As a result, IBM has leaders who help IBM grow to become the top-rated company for leadership in the world. With each level of leaders linked to the bigger picture, IBM is able to better achieve business goals.Leaders are assessed and developed uniquely to IBM and leadership development activities revolve around the culture they have defined rather than by individual leaders in each department.

2. They invest heavily in ongoing leadership development activities

It’s not enough to follow best-practices when you’re a high-performing organization, you develop your own best-practices! Organizations that allocate a larger budget for leadership development activities and leadership development programs receive a significant ROI. These organizations don’t look at leadership development activities as a cost, but rather as an essential investment that helps the organization grow.

These organizations place leaders in a variety of leadership development programs including coaching, simulations, immersive experiences, and challenging leadership development activities. By doing so, leaders are better able to understand and engage their subordinates. From there, leaders can begin to develop and share their own best practices that are unique to the organization.

It’s also important to note these organizations recognize that leadership development is an ongoing process that cannot be abandoned.

3. They attain higher levels of success

Research shows that organizations that invest heavily in leadership development programs have:

– 30% more revenue per employee

– a 10% increase in customer retention

– 2X the top talent on hand than before investing

The success is due to a more narrowly-defined culture that focuses on leadership. Performance improved by clearly defining what leadership means, assessing and developing leaders, and supporting and placing leaders in the best possible position. These organizations invest in leadership development activities that align personal leadership qualities to the business strategies.
Leadership development activities and programs require an investment of time and money, and the payoff is immense. Organizations that align their leadership strategies to their business strategies innovate and achieve at a greater rate while leaving their competitors behind.



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