An Integrated Approach to Leadership Development 3

We need leaders and not just political leaders. We need leaders in every field, in every institution, in all kinds of situations. We need to be educating our young people to be leaders. And unfortunately, that’s fallen out of fashion.” American historian David McCullough

“I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure.” –  Charles Stanley

In a 2012 survey by the National Leadership Index (NLI), released by the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and Merriman River Group, 77% of respondents said the United States now has a crisis in leadership and confidence levels have fallen to the lowest levels in recent times. Literature, as well as our engagement with clients have indicated that there is significant debate around the impact and effectiveness of leadership development. Some of the research indicates that there is dissatisfaction with the results of leadership development, while questions are also being asked about the way we develop leaders.

There are a number of reasons for this. In our view on of the key reasons is that we have become so fixated on qualifications and credits that we failed to consider the entire leadership development landscape. We no longer think systemically about leadership development.

We may evoke a bit of controversy here but we think we find ourselves in the middle of a learning and development system geared towards organisations functioning on business models more appropriate to the 70’s and 80’s. We haven’t considered the implications on organisation for the 21st Century and that people and business leaders needs to deal on a daily basis with complexities unheard and unknown of in the past.

Leadership development should form part of an integrated view around leadership.

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3 thoughts on “An Integrated Approach to Leadership Development


    Good day Letitia

    l do agree with you leadership is about changing someone’s life but the leadership we see today is about enriching a friend or a family member.It is disheartening organizations are experiencing a big deficiet of visionary leaders.

  • Terance Bester


    I agree that we need to a more integrated approach to Leadership Development, but what on earth is it?  In my view a part of the problem is too much knowledge and not enough skills. for example to know what delegation is, isn’t the same as to delegate effectively. 

    Another part of the problem is probably about ethics and the problem is the same i.e.: What ethics should we teach?

    The third challenge that I see is that leadership isn’t only in individuals and leadership style and organisation culture and climate is closely linked.

    Which brings me back to my original question: What on earth is it and how do we teach it?