Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

When we develop leaders, we are always struck by what makes some resist and some accept the challenge of how to be the best leader they can be, more of the time.

For some, self-reflection and analysis is ‘soft and fluffy’ and doesn’t help address real world issues. For others, it can be life changing, enabling them to make a ‘step change’ in their leadership. But what makes the difference? And what are the implications for future leaders?

Whether we like it or not, today’s leaders will shape the leaders of tomorrow. These future leaders are going to need different skill sets and attitudes, to react quickly enough to the ever-changing world around them. But who will teach them?

The same leaders that are resisting their own development?

William Torbert’s work on the Seven Transformations of Leadership gives us some of the answers – existing Leaders are often stuck in ‘Expert’ or ‘Achiever’ states, and can’t open their mind to see the world through different lenses.

The leaders of tomorrow are going to need to be able to break through these, into more ‘Individualistic’ and ‘Strategist’ states, if they are to exploit the opportunities that are bound to be presented to them, and react swiftly to changing business landscapes.

The challenge for us is twofold – how do we develop our future leaders differently, to ensure this pipeline of talent is equipped for the next decade. Secondly, how do we do this through the leaders of today, many of whom are stuck in old fashioned, unresponsive states, trying to cope with increasing demands by working ever harder and longer hours?

What is for sure is that the things that have served us well over the last ten years will very rapidly be out of date within the next ten, and the businesses that survive will take a radically different approach to leadership development. We are reminded of the quote ‘the definition of a fool is someone who keeps doing the same thing and expects different results’.

If you would like to explore this topic with us, and hear about two businesses, Superdry and Virgin Trains, about how they are tackling this critical issue, call us on 01623 883910.