6 ways to build leadership capability for the future
To support leaders in shifting behaviour, leadership development needs to change. Six things leadership developers (including leaders themselves) can do to provide opportunities for leaders to learn new leadership behaviours are:
- How to manage their own development as leaders
- What is driving their leadership behaviour: assumptions and values
- Activities to build self-awareness and regulate their emotional states
- Build capability and strategies to think systemically and be creative
- Approaches to creating networks to support adaptive responses
- Ways to engage people in responding to complex problems.
The impact on leadership development is a move from delivering traditional informational training programs to creating learning environments that support collaboration, adaptive thinking and engagement.
The shift is required because what is expected of leaders and leadership is changing.
What is expected of leaders is changing
Sources: Nick Petrie, Future trends in leadership development, Center for Creative Leadership White Paper; Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, Handbook of leadership theory and practice)
While this shift doesn’t look major and some leaders say they are already enacting these new leadership behaviours, the reality is that the change is huge. Because these leadership behaviours are collective and collaborative, success means that most, if not all, leaders at all levels in your organisation need to have these capabilities.
The implications of working in a highly complex and networked world, without leaders who are able create organisations that can deal with it are:
- Information overload
- Poor responses to change
- Feelings of stress and lack of control
- Negative emotional states
- Feeling unable to meet expectations
- Never being able to “switch off” from work
- Decreasing work performance and engagement with life.
(Sources: Jim Lorhr and Tony Schwartz, The power of full engagement; Bruce Avolio, Full range leadership development)
What this means for your personal leadership development
For leaders looking to future-proof their careers there are some keys to responding to this shift including: taking charge of your own leadership development; managing your energy; managing your health; understanding your values; and understanding your leadership assumptions.
Sources: Nick Petrie, Future trends in leadership development, Center for Creative Leadership White Paper; Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana, Handbook of leadership theory and practice; David Snowden, Complex acts of knowing: paradox and descriptive self-awareness, Journal of Knowledge Management 2002 Vol 6 No2)