Resource title

Developing leaders and leadership development

Resource image

image for OpenScout resource :: Developing leaders and leadership development

Resource description

In this introduction to a book on leadership development, we argue that leaders in the 21st century need to recognize that building their organization's leadership capabilities will be a major differentiator for future success. We emphasize that organizations that lack properly structured leadership development processes will be at a disadvantage. Organizations that take leadership development seriously will outperform the competition. As the world is changing, leadership is no longer defined by what a single leader does (the "Great Man" theory) but by the ability to collaborate, motivate and manage networks. In an era of highly diverse teams, matrix structures, and global organizations, the talent of network building is key to creating collaborative teams and a boundary-less organization. We suggest that due to the changing nature of organizations a more distributed view of leadership will be needed, thus shifting the focus from the traditional single leader to an intricate and complex web of leaders who possess a range of abilities and experiences necessary to ensure that the leadership function is carried out to the benefit of the wider organisation. From what we have learned from our own experience, we argue that the best approach to developing leaders is through various forms of self-assessment, action learning, and apprenticeship activities. Furthermore, with the emergence of the knowledge economy, companies are now playing an increasingly active role in the continued education of their own workforce, one example being the creation of corporate universities. In this context, we discuss the leadership development "toolbox" that is needed to ensure leadership development activities succeed. Some of the more commonly used tools in this toolbox include classroom lectures, leadership exercises, outdoor adventure training, case analyses, simulations, and 360-degree evaluations, a technique involving the evaluation of leader by his/her boss, peers, subordinates and the leader himself/herself.

Resource author

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language


Resource content type


Resource resource URL

Resource license

Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved