How do you Develop a Senior Leader?

Senior leadership development is critical to organisational growth and success. Senior leaders play a pivotal role in shaping the direction, culture, and performance of the organisation.

It’s therefore of crucial importance that organisations invest in developing their senior leadership team. In practice, that means not only developing the current leadership team, but also identifying and developing the senior leaders of the future.

To ensure an effective, reliable pipeline of senior leaders for your organisation it’s essential that you have a senior leadership development program in place.

What role do senior leaders play in an organisation, what skills does senior leadership require and how do you develop successful, effective senior leaders?


What is the role of senior leaders in leadership development?

The role of senior leaders when it comes to leadership development cannot be overstated. Senior leaders set the vision, shape the culture, and drive the direction of the organisation. It’s the role of senior leaders to define strategic priorities, and to ensure alignment with an ambitious business strategy.

Senior leaders serve as role models within an organisation. This is important to recognise, particularly for anyone who is looking to develop their own skills as a leader and to take on extra responsibilities. They should demonstrate integrity and the company values, accountability, resilience, and effective communication to establish a dynamic leadership culture within the organisation.

Senior leaders can also provide mentoring and coaching to emerging leaders, guiding them through challenges and fostering their professional growth. By mentoring emerging leaders, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and modelling desirable leadership behaviours, senior leaders can help to develop the leaders of the future.

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What skills are required for a senior leadership role?

A senior leadership development programme should focus on developing the unique skill set required for a senior leadership role. Firstly, senior leaders must possess strategic thinking abilities to analyse complex situations, make informed decisions, and then align them with the long-term goals of the organisation.

Senior leaders need to be able to reflect and evaluate their performance, examine their skills and be honest about how they are performing. They need to have a visionary leadership approach, inspiring others with a compelling vision and rallying the organisation around a shared purpose. Strong emotional intelligence is crucial for navigating interpersonal dynamics, building relationships, and effectively influencing and motivating others.

Senior leaders should be able to manage change, drive innovation and lead organisational transformation to adapt to the evolving commercial environment.


How do you develop senior leaders?

Developing senior leaders requires a deliberate and comprehensive approach. Once potential leaders are identified, a tailored senior leadership development program can be developed. These combine a variety of developmental experiences, goal setting, knowledge acquisition, mentoring and coaching. These experiences should focus on enhancing skills in strategic thinking, visionary leadership, emotional intelligence, and change management.

Organisations should create a culture that supports continuous learning and development, providing resources and support for senior leaders to engage in self-directed learning and stay updated on industry trends and best practices.

To find out more about our personal leadership development programmes and how we can help you develop a senior leadership development programme for your organisation, get in touch with our expert leadership development team today.

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