How Important Is Development & Progression To Senior Leaders?

You have made it! That high ranking role you have always sought after is yours. You are highly respected amongst peers and professionals, and you are most definitely top of your game. So you are done? Nothing more to do? No need to develop or think about any further career opportunities?

Speaking as a leadership performance coach, I can tell you that self development and progression is crucial to your ultimate long term success. This will not only benefit you personally but also the business you work for and represent. As part of my role, I frequently discuss with leaders the importance of having robust personal development plans and career plans. Even if you can’t see yourself working anywhere else, a career plan could include some stretch, for example – becoming a non executive director or patron. You have to keep thinking of avenues to stay relevant and learn, stagnation will not only stifle you but will be a corporate disaster.

Why is it important to continuously develop?

Development is not exclusive and is open to all. Leaders desire well trained colleagues that are hungry to succeed and progress in their field.

So what are the benefits for leaders who take personal development and progression seriously?

Attract and retain talent

You can only attract and retain the very best leaders if you invest in yourself first. “Great leaders attract, hire and inspire great people”. You certainly will not achieve this if you are not self aware and clear on your own strengths and opportunities. “People (as the old adage goes) do work for people” and generally leave an organisation because of a poor leader above them. Developing, coaching and giving teams progression opportunities are critical to business success and longevity.

“GREAT LEADERS ATTRACT, HIRE, AND INSPIRE GREAT PEOPLE. A MEDIOCRE MANAGER WILL NEVER ATTRACT OR RETAIN HIGH-PERFORMING EMPLOYEES.” 

Bersin and Associates

Improved financial performance

Companies that rate highly for their investments in human capital generally offer a 5 fold increase in stock market returns according to Harvard Business review. This is very much the output of what you do as a leader, its your KPIs, targets or city expectations. Constant development will put you in a place where you can improve this and do a much better job.

Drive strategy

Development has an enormous importance in shaping strategy. Think of your strategy as your sat nav, teams will be lost and going around in circles if you are not clear and concise. Your own self development will lead you to be clear with your teams. The more you take development seriously the more you update your “sat nav” and have less chances of taking a wrong direction that could cost time and money.

Leader of change

Leadership development improves people ability to respond rapidly, and this is critical in business. As mentioned earlier, if you stand still long enough, time will pass you by and can have catastrophic consequences corporately and personally. Its proven that companies who invest in strategic leadership development programs are more agile and can adapt much more quickly.

Is progression important?

Progression is extremely important to employees, half of those aged under 35 believe promotion should come every two years (Adecco, 2013). Employees who see a clear progression path are more likely to be engaged and committed to their jobs.

Employees are one of the biggest investments your organisation makes. Their skills and knowledge continually grow through training, on-the-job learning, and other development initiatives. You must help deserving employees to progress if you want the maximum return-on-investment (ROI) for your organisation.

In summary, development and progression opportunities shouldn’t stop being at the forefront of a leaders mind. Personal development and having a career strategy are all parts of how you build and raise your stock in the industry you work. If you want to keep your great colleagues, treat their development with the same importance as yours. Who can blame someone for moving on, by doing this they might actually get the opportunities they crave and need to excel.

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Hi! I`m Chris Webb, I live in the South East and started Leaders Retail Consultancy in 2019. Before freelancing, I was a senior retail leader for a number of the UK’s top retailers gaining experience over 23 glorious years. When I am not coaching I enjoy spending time with the family or in the gym. Click here for more information about Leaders Retail Consultancy


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