Effective leadership development is a CEO’s most underutilized tool to advance the execution of an ambitious strategic agenda. This paper will show that, more than ever, focused leadership development programs are needed to help drive an organization’s strategic agenda. Many organizations commit massive amounts of resources to create new business strategies they hope will take them from where they are to where they want to be.
Recognizing the strategic importance of leadership and leadership development places a higher priority on the talent pipeline. Leadership development is the tangible manifestation of the organization’s point of view on leadership.
It can and should drive the organization’s strategy and advance the corporate agenda.
It can and should help build a strong and differentiated bench and talent pipeline—the leaders who will execute the strategy of both today and the future. It can help promote a more purpose-focused, sustainable, and socially conscious organization. To accelerate leadership development and close critical gaps, real context and practical application are essential. Korn Ferry promotes a whole-person approach by tapping prior experiences and the lessons gained from them, which are instrumental to readiness for new challenges and roles. Creating learning journeys requires a new approach to the program design, using the current context of the organization as a starting point. As Korn Ferry’s survey indicates, dissatisfaction can run high with leadership development programs as they currently exist.
Visible behaviors at the top that do not reflect messaging and priorities conveyed to levels deeper in the organization. A theoretical approach to leadership development that does not bring the concepts into practical reality. Lack of strong governance models to guide effective and strategic investment in leadership development. Overcoming these potential pitfalls requires a deliberate and focused approach to drive measurable and meaningful organization change and help narrow the strategy execution gap. Leadership development can and should be one of the most powerful strategic tools in the CEO’s arsenal. Leadership can be critical in sales, an area where research shows that managers are the no.
Effective executive development goes beyond what to do at work, and into who individuals must become to be leaders.
Leadership development can be used to put the best minds in a company to work on real, current business problems. Organizations can put service programs at the center of the leadership development programs. Leadership Institute provides participants with knowledge, skills, tools, and connections to effectively lead people and organizations at Texas A&M University.
EOD is pleased to congratulate 41 recognized leaders for completing the 2015 Leadership Institute. To advance medicine and society by enabling inventive physician-scientists to turn their discoveries into medicines that improve human health. In a recent survey by Korn Ferry with almost 7,500 respondents, more than 80% of whom said they were at the C-suite or director level or above, 62% have examined their organization’s leadership capabilities and see gaps that need filling.


As Korn Ferry has found through its work with clients across all industries, leadership development can and should be a powerful tool at the CEO’s disposal to advance strategic growth and change.
The Korn Ferry survey revealed that nearly 40% of respondents said they don’t regularly review leadership needs against their business strategy. US companies have been estimated to spend about $14 billion a year on leadership development training. By developing current and future leaders, these programs can promote and create culture change to support a more purpose-driven, sustainable, and socially conscious organization that commits to people so its talent can execute the business strategy and achieve desired results.
As the  Korn Ferry survey showed, less than 20% of respondents were confident they have the leaders they need to deliver on strategic priorities. How at all levels it invests in, supports, and sponsors the strategic development of leaders is a direct reflection of how aggressively it is working to close its own strategy-execution gap. The key to making it more effective is rooting it more deeply in the real world to produce real outcomes.
An organization’s leaders should grow into future challenges by being exposed to current and impending obstacles, problems, and opportunities. Experiences are considered one of four dimensions of leadership, along with traits (personality characteristics that exert a strong influence on behavior), competencies (leadership skills that matter most for success), and drivers (the preferences, values, and motivations that influence a person’s career). Rather, it is a process that occurs over time with a pace and intensity that match the scope and ambition of the business strategy and desired change.
In this way, leadership development becomes more effective in activating the organization’s strategy at all levels. A sense of purpose motivates leaders to create, serve, build, and improve in the service of a broader and longer-term goal.
With measurement lacking and adding to skepticism about the programs’ impact and ROI, leadership development too often has been considered a cost, not an investment. The institute strives to enhance employees' leadership capabilities in their current and subsequent leadership roles. The participants each spent over 43 hours learning from experts, engaging in activities, and discussing exemplary leadership within the context of higher education, particularly at Texas A&M. Participants also actively engaged in leadership and teambuilding activities at Texas A&M's Challenge Works.
Korn Ferry research has identified the alignment of business and talent strategies as a critical task for directors, CEOs, and chief human resources officers.
Further, only 17% of survey respondents said they were confident they have the talent needed to deliver on strategic priorities. Overall corporate training expenditures, which are considerably larger, have been growing by 10% to 15% per year as the economy recovers.
With effective leadership development programs, CEOs can build high-performing organizations as their legacy.
Some strategies are replete with technical details, financial projections, forecasts of future market share, a roadmap for product and service development, and so forth.
A lack of talent to fulfill mission-critical roles (as and when needed) can put a business at risk competitively, and may force external recruitment for crucial skill sets that could be developed internally.
These real experiences accelerate development in conjunction with formal structured learning programs and are far more effective than hypotheticals or semi-relevant case studies.
To unleash the potential within, an organization must help its people experience the power of service. The solution is to devise and implement leadership development that is tailored to the organization and the talent needs of its current and future leaders.


Thomas is the Business Operations Director at the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio.
Prior to his law degree, Eli spent eight years in the software and health care technology industries, leading implementations of Electronic Health Record (EHR) software within hospital systems and physician practices, providing technical proof of concept presentations for online learning software, designing and executing marketing campaigns, and managing improvement programs for the technical and financial reporting infrastructure within a multinational manufacturing company. And some of the notable strengths of the top 20% of CEOs, based on Korn Ferry’s comprehensive leadership performance simulation, include developing strategies and driving growth. The predictable levers include compensation, budgeting, process improvement, increased measurement and accountability, new technologies, reorganization, and revitalized communications. Given the size of this resource commitment, leadership development should be expected to contribute to performance improvement and deep competitive advantage.
But, as Korn Ferry’s experience with clients has shown, many organizations have a blind spot on the human side of things. All organizations must retain their relevance to individual customers and broad markets, and they cannot do so unless they also keep pace with societal change. Leaders developed in context produce real outcomes and solve real problems as they grow and develop. Leaders should have a clear and coherent, multi-level development plan that puts them on a personal journey of growth.
One way to make leadership development more purposeful is to embed broader meaning into the leadership journey. Leadership development then becomes an organizational priority because it is embedded in business strategies, in recognition that it is not enough to know what must be done— but who is needed to accomplish it. Prior to joining the Harrington Discover Institute, Eli served as an attorney for University Hospitals, acting as primary legal counsel for the Harrington Discovery Institute and the Vice-President of Systems Facilities. Eli graduated with Distinctions from Kenyon College and earned his Master’s Degree in Biochemistry from The Ohio State University. In some instances, however, leadership development proves less than effective— even to the point of having a weak or negative return on investment (ROI).
At best they have a headcount or workforce projection, but few have a development plan for their people, let alone a leadership strategy. This means that organizations must work even harder to develop many more leaders who are female and who are from underrepresented communities and points of view.
He was the primary attorney for Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act guidance and investigations, and practiced within multiple corporate practice groups including Research & Intellectual Property, Real Property & Facilities, Supply Chain & Marketing, IT&S, Physician Transactions & Graduate Medical Education, Compliance, Taxes & Gifts, and Corporate Transactions & Joint Ventures. Success requires the hard work of leaders at all levels, who must make countless decisions and behave in ways that support the strategic direction and overarching purpose of the organization. But to be effective, leadership development needs to be more than aligned with the business strategy—it needs to be part of the strategy. These individuals must be valued and welcomed into leadership development programs, especially with the full support of top executives. Further, participants in leadership development programs must learn how to change existing cultures to be as inclusive as possible. They need to see the advantages of broadening points of view to benefit their organizations, clients, and communities.
Further, as they participate with colleagues, all the future leaders in development programs need to see that they all have roles in including others and ensuring that the broadest points of view benefit their organizations.



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