Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change
Leader and Leadership Development; Distributed Leadership; Network Building; Boundaryless Organizations; Talent Management; Corporate Universities; IAF 10/11; IAF 2520272;
Developing Leaders and Leadership Development
Authors: Kets de Vries Manfred F. R.
In this introduction to a book on leadership development, we argue that leaders in the 21st century need to recognize that building their organization’s leadership capabilities is going to be a major differentiator for future success.The authors emphasize that organizations that do not have properly structured leadership development processes in place will be at a disadvantage. Organizations that take leadership development seriously outperform the competition.Furthermore, the authors also put forth that as the world is changing, leadership is no longer defined by what a single leader does (the “Great Man” trait theories) but by the ability to collaborate, motivate and to manage networks. In this day and age of highly diverse teams, matrix structures, and global organizations, the talent in network building is key to creating collaborative teams and a boundaryless organization.The authors suggest that due to the changing nature of organizations—a more distributed view of leadership will be needed thus shifting the focus from the traditional single leader to an intricate and complex web of leaders who possess a range of abilities and experiences necessary to ensure that the leadership function is carried out to the benefit of the wider organisation. From what we have learned from our own experience, we argue that the best approach to developing leaders is through various forms of self-assessment, action learning, and apprenticeship activities.Furthermore, with the emergence of the knowledge economy, the authors explore the fact that companies are now playing an increasingly active role in the continued education of their own workforce—one example being the creation of corporate universities.In this context, the authors also discuss the leadership development ‘toolbox’ that is needed to make leadership development activities a success. Some of the more commonly used tools in this toolbox include classroom lectures, leadership exercises, an outdoor adventure training, case analyses, simulations, and 360-degree evaluations (which is basically a technique involving the evaluation of leader by his/her boss, peers, subordinates and the leader himself/herself). Download PDF