A Strategic Organizational Approach to Developing Leadership Developers
Keywords:leader development, leadership development, deliberately developmental organization, culture, developing leadership developers
In leadership development, the emphasis is often on the direct development of the individual, focusing on the individual’s development as a leader or on skills to deal with the process of leadership. However, less attention is paid to developing those that develop the leaders—the leadership developers. This article provides two frameworks to consider in developing leaders through a layered approach focused on leadership developers rather than simply those that are being developed. The first framework highlights the levels of leadership development within an organization: the emerging leaders, those that develop the leaders—leadership developers, and those that develop the leadership developers—leadership tutors. All levels require cognitive understanding of the necessary leadership concepts—knowing, behavioral patterns that foster success—doing, and cultivation of affective qualities of “being a leader.” The article highlights how the experiential learning cycle serves as a foundation for both leader and leadership development as it enables emerging leaders to grow in the domains of knowing, doing, and being a leader and gaining leadership skills. The article further highlights how leadership developers support the development of emerging leaders by actively engaging the experiential leader cycle. The second framework links the experiential learning cycle with a deliberately developmental organization focused on continued growth of those within the organization relative to core leader and leadership competencies. The deliberately developmental leadership organization utilizes principles embedded into the culture of the organization, practices enacted by all in the organization, and community to robustly form successful leaders.
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