Several companies today run an outdated leadership development programs based on the success model for the world that was, not the world that is or that is coming. A Ted talk by Roselinde Torres, an expert on leadership, throws some light on - what makes great leaders tick? In the session conducted by her, she highlighted results from a study conducted on 4,000 companies. 58% of the companies cited significant talent gaps for critical leadership roles. That means that despite corporate training programs, off-sites, assessments, coaching, all of these things, more than half the companies had failed to grow enough great leaders.
So the big question, she asks is - Why are the leadership gaps widening when there's so much more investment in leadership development today? She distils some fine characteristics of leaders and practices adopted by them that enabled them to grow their potential manifolds. She shares three significant insights on what can be done for building effective leadership.
1. Great leaders are not head-down: They see around corners, shaping their future, not just reacting to it. Roselinde explains a practice adopted by a leadership team - where they bring together each member who collects trends that impact them and trends that impact another team member and make decisions based on them and strategize accordingly.
2. Ability to network beyond comfort zone: Everyone has a network of people whom they are comfortable with. Good leaders have the ability to develop relationships with people that are very different from them. The differences may be - biological, physical, functional, political, cultural, socio-economic. And yet, despite all these differences, good leaders are able to connect with them and are able to win their trust, so much so that, their network co-operate with them in achieving their goals. Great leaders understand that having a more diverse network is a source of pattern identification at greater levels.
3. Go along to get along: Good leaders are courageous enough to abandon a practice that they have used to be successful in the past. Generally, people prefer to keep going with what's familiar and comfortable to them. Great leaders dare to be different and take risks, not just talk about them.