Leadership development continues to be a problem area in UK businesses. Whilst it is consistently regarded as inadequately or even poorly done, the majority of leaders (over 74%) consider that enhancing leadership capability would improve an organisation's prospects. (See our earlier article At the Helm of Unbalanced Ships).
Leadership development programmes in the UK, Europe and US, tend to focus on developing skills (such as managing people, strategic management, etc), those we think of as DOING skills OR, less frequently, to developing the individual leader's personal strengths and capacities (such as developing EQ, authenticity, etc), the BEING skills. It is rare that these are addressed together in an integrated way.
54% of those polled considered that leadership development in their organisation was ineffective and a further 44% considered it was poor. [Borderless 2016 Leadership Development Survey]
Our model incorporates current, evidenced-based thinking and research about effective leadership development. At its heart is the development and effective use of self-awareness which is critical to effective leadership: "empirical support is mounting suggesting that self-awareness is related to leadership such that leaders higher in self-awareness tend to get better outcomes than those with lower levels of self-awareness" (Ashley and Reiter-Palmon, 2012). This has been strengthened in more recent research by coaching psychologists (e.g. Day and Dragoni, 2015; Fusco, Palmer and O'Riordan, 2016) particularly advocating the development of leadership competencies with self-awareness, self-efficacy and authenticity. In addition, our model is informed by and draws upon approaches including Leadership Circles, ACT and REBT.
The model seeks to raise awareness and self-knowledge, support leaders through the transitional period of vulnerability and potential discomfort as they embark on personal growth and transformation, and consolidate their learning to become objective, confident and authentic leaders. It focuses upon how they perceive, interpret and act in their role as managers and leaders and encourages the development of critical self-reflection.
As with all of our development programmes, this model provides a framework with which to develop bespoke solutions for each leadership assignment and we expect to adapt it to the specific context and needs of each client. Typically, participants work with a dedicated executive coach throughout the programme and come together as a leadership group at key points throughout to share experiences and support each other. (Throughout the programme, training courses on identified management and leadership topics may also be scheduled which participants may book onto as required).
If you would like more information about the model or the development programme please contact Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 655667 to arrange an initial chat.
Sarah Jaggers is an Executive Coach and Business Psychologist at Managing Change in Cambridge.
 See our summary of "The 4Cs of Authentic Leadership"