Recently, I have had the opportunity to share research on Leadership Development that GDI Talent Acquisition Practice has conducted over the last few months.

We have created a 2-part E-Learning series that will be uploaded to our video library, shortly.

In addition, I had a great time delivering a program on the topic of Leadership Development at the APICS Ventura Chapter Professional Development Meeting. It was a great opportunity to network and make new connections in the Southern California Manufacturing and Supply Chain Industry.

Click here for a copy of the presentation.

The title of the program was: Helping Manufacturing Meet Its Goals: 10 Principles of Leadership Development to Transform Your People into A World-Class Leadership Team

I think this is a good time to dive a little deeper on the specific principles of leadership development.

These sources come straight from the source, primarily academic research.

  1. Leadership can be learned and can be measured.

Bruce Avolio, leading researcher on the topic of Leadership and Leadership Development from the University of Washington has conducted research that shows that 70% of Leadership can be learned and can be developed. That’s because Leadership is made up of a number of competencies, skills, abilities. Furthermore, attitudes, mindsets, while more difficult, can change over time.

If Leadership can be learned, then leadership can be measured. To truly develop, we must establish a baseline on an individuals’ specific Leadership competencies, and measure again post-development to see growth. There are many validated tools that measure specific skills. Or simply conduct 360o assessments to measure growth.

  1. Leaders exist at all levels of the organization, and must be developed at all levels

Effective leadership development isn’t about training individuals. Its primary objective should be the development of a leadership team capable of moving a company forward and meeting key strategic objectives. To do this, every layer of management has to be equally prepared.

  1. Leadership Development is contextual (just like Leadership)

Leadership does not occur in a vacuum. And neither does Leadership Development. Context sets the stage for success or failure, so it’s important to attend to some basic organizational design and managerial processes first and then support them with individual development tools such as coaching and classroom or online education.

Similar to Leadership, we know some leadership styles work well in some contexts and some work better than others. There is no one singular leadership style. Too many training initiatives rest on the assumption that one size fits all and that the same group of skills or style of leadership is appropriate regardless of strategy, or organizational culture.

  1. Leadership development is a process, not a one-time event

A two-day retreat or workshop to train individuals is not enough. For people to really develop they must be challenged often, forced out of their comfort zone. Individuals need a variety of learning solutions… which leads in the next principle.

  1. Learn by doing (70-20-10 model)

70% of the development should be on-the-job experience (learning through doing). These can include: on-the-job tasks, special assignments, or cross-functional projects.

20% should be supported by coaching and mentoring (learning through others). Seeking feedback, developing a peer network, joining professional organizations, finding a mentor or coach, job shadowing, and visibility opportunities

And finally, 10% should be training (learning through study). These can be instructor-led courses, e-learning programs selected readings, or professional conferences

In the following weeks blog, I fill detail the remainder of the Principles of Leadership Development. Please comment on what you think is another important principle to adhere to when developing manufacturing or supply chain talent.