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Developing successful leaders in the workplace

Author: Angela Mulvie

Consultant author: Nigel Paine


  • Leadership development is probably the largest and most significant investment in learning and development that organisations will make. Building a suitable cohort of competent, knowledgeable and skilled senior personnel who are able to act consistently and demonstrate behaviours that mirror the organisational values is a core element for business growth and commercial success. (See What is leadership development? and Why organisations need to invest in developing leadership skills)
  • Before embarking on a leadership development programme the organisation should consider what the desired outcomes of the programme are, and what problem the organisation is trying to solve. (See A strategy for leadership development)
  • Several factors need to be considered before the design and delivery stage of a leadership development programme, including what skills need to be developed, what support will be given to the leadership programme participants, and the nature of the investment. (See Planning a leadership development programme)
  • There are many ways of selecting the cohorts for leadership development programmes. Some organisations use tools such as performance reviews and 360-degree appraisal, while others draw on recommendations by line managers. (See Selecting participants and assessing development needs)
  • Leadership programmes should draw on a wide range of activities to engage learners, including on- and off-job development, structured content, self-study, face-to-face and online resources, work-based projects, coaching and mentoring. (See Study/delivery modes)
  • The organisation will need to make a decision on whether or not its leadership development programme will lead to qualifications. (See Accrediting programmes)
  • The organisation will need a model for measuring the impact of the leadership development programme. (See Evaluating the outcomes of leadership development programmes)