Leadership development

Make practitioners of leadership roles more effective and efficient.

Test yourself Copy to your organization

Skills contained in this skillset:

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I know what is meant by leadership development

Leadership development is a collective term for all the measures taken to strengthen the manager's competence, self-awareness and behaviour, with the aim of turning management into a competitive advantage for the organization.

I understand the purpose of leadership development

The purpose of leadership development, as commonly stated by the industry, is to ensure that leaders have sufficient:

  • Understanding of the company's limitations, goals and strategies
  • Role clarity of leadership roles and responsibilities
  • Knowledge of management (including knowledge of management concepts, processes and methodology)
  • Self-confidence in the leadership role
  • Leadership skills

However, the true purpose of leadership development can not just to enable great leaders, but rather to enable the practice of great leadership within an organization.

There's no use having Ronaldo on your team if he has to sit on the bench.

To develop great leadership, we also have to consider factors that a lot of the time might be outside of an individual leader's control, like:

  • Incentives
  • Culture
  • Mandate
  • Priorities
  • Support
  • Systems and operationalization
I know the components of leadership development

The practice of leadership development can be broken down into four categories:


Assessing how well someone masters different dimensions of leadership.


Theoretical teaching of the leadership profession.


Opportunities to try out leadership in practice under guidance.


Activities which support reflections around individual leadership behaviour and personal dispositions.

I know that as a manager I will not get any better than random chance unless I systematically talk to others about my improvement potential

A study conducted with 86,000 people revealed that managers who do not systematically follow up and talk to others about their improvement potential do not improve any more than random chance.

I know the different ways in which a leader can develop themselves

There are a myriad of ways a leader can develop themselves. Here is list of examples, grouped into four main leadership development categories:

  1. Collect insight
  2. Exchange experiences
  3. Learn from experts
  4. Self development

Collect insight

  • Follow people or companies who write about leadership in social media
  • Consume executive summaries of books and podcasts about leadership (i.e. Blinkist)
  • Read books, magazines and articles about leadership
  • Listen to leadership podcasts and audio books
  • Chat with a generative AI about leadership and organizational development

Exchange experiences

  • Attend networking groups
  • Attend leadership conferences and events
  • Attend leadership retreats
  • Attend Lunch & learns of Breakfast seminars related to leadership
  • Exchange thoughts, experiences and challenges with other leaders

Learn from experts

  • Attend leadership courses
  • Get executive coaching
  • Attend a leadership development programme
  • Attend leadership training
  • Acquire a leadership mentor

Self development

  • Get an assessment in your ability to practice leadership by yourself or others
  • Develop your role clarity and identify yuor development potential as a leader
  • Get some to hold you accountable to your development potential
  • Reflect over your own leadership, your leadership identity and leadership performance
  • Get calibration and exposure of blind spots by an experienced leader/mentor/coach
I know what is meant by leadership development follow-up

Leadership development follow-up is a collective term for the actions carried out by a leader after they have learned or realized something new.

The purpose of the follow-up is to ensure that the insight gained produces not just new knowledge, but also new behaviour, and that the investment in leadership development has a measurable impact on both yourself, your fellow leaders and the organization as a whole.

If follow-up is not prioritized, there is a high risk of the leadership development efforts producing only leadership learning, and not leadership and organizational development.

The follow-up should contain the following steps:

Insight management

Write down the insight gained in a knowledge bank accessible to the leaders within the organization. Managing leadership insight enables you to:

  • Make sure you have understood something properly
  • Remember it more easily
  • Share it more easily with other leaders
  • Organize insight over time to see which insight is relevant to which leader roles


Embed the insight into relevant organizational structures, i.e. role descriptions, processes and developmental programs.

Operationalizing insight enables you to:

  • Not have to rely on people's memory in order for the insight to be utilized
  • Ensure that the insight is exposed and acted upon at the relevant time by the relevant people
  • Assign the responsibility of acting on the insight to specific people
  • Set reminders to ensure reoccuring adherence to the insight


Reflect over your own ability to practice the insight gained.

Reflecting on insight enables you to:

  • Identify to which extent you are likely to comply with the insight
  • Identify which opinions, emotional blockers and practical obstacles are keeping you from practicing the insight
  • Identify where you need to work on yourself in order to become a better leader


Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Executive roles Leadership stages Leadership support and enablement Leadership development