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Making Leadership Development Part of Organizational Strategy

Michael Maccoby states in his book The Leaders We Need, that “In any business, good leadership may be the most essential competitive advantage a company can have.” Linking leadership and strategy then, would seem to be an organizational imperative.

Leadership Advantage
According to a recent study outlined in The Leadership Advantage by Robert Fulmer and Jared Bleak, leadership is the essential element in the success of any strategic change effort. “Indeed, no strategy is good enough to succeed without strong leadership.” They found that successful organizations built a strong link between business strategy and leadership-development strategy.

The link between business strategy and leadership-development strategy is not haphazard, but specific and deliberate and omnipresent. The link is part of the philosophy of the organization that “permeates all organizational levels and is applicable to all employees.” In this way, an organization can keep the leadership-development strategy relevant to each business unit and to the overall business strategy in general. For example:
PepsiCo’s leadership-development strategy is grounded in the belief that strong leaders are needed to be successful in the marketplace. Pepsico This belief is fundamental to PepsiCo’s two-pronged HR approach, which includes a career-growth model and a talent-management model for leadership development. This two pronged approach aligns with corporate strategic initiatives, which in turn link with the organization’s sustainable competitive advantage.
Using senior executive to teach emerging leaders is an effective two-way street where both benefit.
One of the surprising findings of this project was the degree to which senior executives practice the concept of leading by teaching. At PepsiCo, Paul Russell, vice president of executive learning & development, speaks of “the magic of leaders developing leaders.” According to Russell, the missing adult-learning principle is that “people learn best when they get to learn from someone they really want to learn from.” Russell notes that “at PepsiCo, the ‘teachers’ our executives want to learn from are our own senior leaders. They are world class, widely respected, and have proven that they can do it here!”

At PepsiCo, senior executives are asked to share their personal perspectives, as well as build participant confidence and skills while demonstrating support for their growth. Of equal importance, senior leaders elicit greater teamwork from participants and get to know key young leaders while developing more loyalty, motivation, and productivity among employees and creating greater alignment around vision and key strategic initiatives. PepsiCo leaders are encouraged to think of learning as an important arrow in their quiver for helping to drive change. At PepsiCo, learning becomes something to live, not just another thing to endorse.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:26 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Books , Leadership Development



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