Leadership development is unquestionably an essential element of any successful business strategy. Because, without proper development of your business’s leaders culture can easily devolve — leading to a toxic and unproductive workplace. Businesses without leadership cannot be sustained.
Unfortunately, organizations often throw their best talent into management roles simply because of their experience. Despite their lack of leadership training. As this has been a long standing problem, many business leaders simply take this as a given. But organizations that don’t ignore this, and hone the leadership skills of their front line leaders, will develop a key competitive advantage.
It doesn’t matter whether your organization is a scrappy startup or a multinational corporation. Every organization needs quality leadership at every level. Poor leadership in large corporations can eat it away from the inside. In smaller businesses, poor leadership stops growth before it has a chance to happen. Whatever the size or nature of your organization, with the right leadership development framework you can initiate a complete transformation.
Leadership development frameworks are not one size fits all — but must be specially tailored to the specific needs of your organization. And, with the number of leadership development frameworks, that float around the sphere of thought leadership, it can be difficult to cut out the noise and uncover the models that will deliver value.
Because of all this, we’ve compiled 5 essential frameworks for your business to employ in its next leadership development strategy.
1: Servant leadership
Servant leadership is a leadership style that emphasizes service to teams and organizations over that of service to self and one’s own ego. It’s a style that offers and direction first and rarely gives commands.
By focusing on service first, organizations can prevent the growth of toxic behaviors. Because, when leaders are simply pursuing their own success at the expense of others, they may sabotage others, withhold information, and not act on the best ideas available. It should be noted that research, conducted by The University of Illinois at Chicago Business School, has shown that service leadership is associated with a 6 percent increase performance.
Servant leadership doesn’t end with those in formal management roles. Rather, servant leadership is structured to spread throughout organizations. No matter what the organization’s size, servant leadership is agile — providing a solid framework for businesses to utilize.
2: Purpose-driven leadership
Purpose driven leadership is a style of leadership that focuses on communicating a central vision. A leader who focuses on purpose finds ways to tie in the individual goals and desires of their team with those of the company. This shows the team that their personal goals aren’t distinct from the organization’s, but rather go hand in hand.
Today, the brands that thrive are the ones that put their purpose front and center. Purpose does more than establish consumer loyalty — it inspires teams to achieve more. In fact, according to Ernst & Young, organizations that are driven by purpose outperform the market by an astonishing 42 percent. It’s clear that purpose driven leadership delivers a competitive advantage.
3: Values focused leadership
Values based leadership is all about leading by example — instead of by demand. Leadership of this sort puts living values aligned behaviors front and center to promote better working habits. Today, in a world where fake news is commonplace, people are highly skeptical of the messages they receive from above and prefer to see action.
I’ve seen this many times before — leaders want a certain kind of behavior on their teams, but then visibly do not do the same. When this happens order quickly breaks down and engagement drops. Leaders must be the most visible practitioners of the values that they preach. For organizations where this an issue – values based leadership development is vital.
Much of the time, organizational values are taken for granted — left to gather dust in HR materials. Bust just consider Enron — a perfect example of what happens when values say one thing, integrity in Enron’s case, and people do another. Living values is a great strategy to establish leadership internally and beyond.
4: The coaching model
When leaders act as coaches within their organizations, it means they focus on the personal growth of those they lead.
The coaching model is perfect for organizations that are concerned with talent retention. As the labor market remains tight, talent retention is a growing concern. Coaching benefits talent retention because more and more growth is a key aspect of top talent. Talent today isn’t content with simply going in for their 9 to 5. Today’s talent wants to develop their skills and achieve their goals.
Who better to help your talent achieve their goals than coaches?
5: Grassroots leadership
Grassroots leadership is perfect for smaller organizations that might have a less developed hierarchies. In this model, leadership isn’t determined based on your official role or title — but rather, each person is expected to exhibit leadership.
While an organization grows, having each person take responsibility for the culture and direction of the company is a great way to ensure its health. Grassroots leadership is a way to get all hands on deck for the cultural development of the organization.
No matter what leadership development program your organization decides to implement, MicroActions act as a vessel to reinforce and sustain transformation.
Workshops and motivational speakers are great ways to begin your leadership development program — but they are not enough. The inspiration that motivational speakers provide fades after a couple weeks, and the knowledge gained from workshops is lost if it isn’t reinforced consistently.
This is why businesses should utilize daily MicroActions to sustain the benefits that their leadership development workshops provide. Beyond this, MicroActions provide leaders concrete daily ways to pursue greater leadership.
Daily MicroActions is what ProHabits specializes in. Seeing the value that MicroActions provide organizations of all kinds, we at ProHabits have developed a platform that automates and streamlines their delivery. Through our platform, leaders receive daily actions to perform that align with organizational goals and help them improve their leadership.