An Integrated Approach to Leadership Development

By letitiavandermerwe, 23 August, 2016

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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