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The Secret to Developing Leadership in an Organization

The Secret to Developing Leadership in an Organization
leadership, effective leadership

Photograph is courtesy of Pinterest

When an employee is promoted from an individual contributor role to a role leading people, it is generally recognized that a change in perspective from individual to group and development of interpersonal and leadership skills are essential to success.

However, these aspects of leadership, while important, often fail to address the one change that can most impact individual and organizational success. The most important shift in thinking for a new leader is this: moving from focusing on your own accomplishments to thinking about your team’s contribution toward achievement of the company’s business strategy.

Leaders at all levels must tell a compelling story explaining what makes the company different from its competitors, who the customers are and why they buy from the company. This story provides the context that aligns people and groups. This story is a cornerstone in establishing credibility as a leader and in developing employee engagement. Sharing this story is the first step in executing the business strategy.

Once you become a people-leader, providing this context for people is critical to the success of your team and to your success as a leader. This context is a beacon that aligns people in a unified direction as well as, over time, providing compelling reasons for organizational change.

A leader also communicates and develops people in a way that provides the kind of clarity they need to focus on what’s most important, take actions and make decisions on a day in and day out basis and to do all of that and more in alignment with the business strategy. In addition, in tethering your team to the strategy, you are teaching them how they can make a difference as individuals and as a group, you’re sharing leadership with them, and you’re developing future leaders.

Along the way, it is also important for leaders to continuously build and strengthen a wide range of knowledge and skills needed to be effective, including coaching, giving and accepting feedback, joint problem solving, teamwork, delegation, metrics, and others. But these skills, without building the team’s confident and effective understanding of the business strategy and how team members fit, are not enough to drive the organization’s growth and sustainability.

Questions to ponder:

As a leader, what is the business story you’re sharing to promote strong understanding and engagement of each of your people in your company’s strategy?

What are the different ways you communicate about customers, competitors and your company’s unique value?

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Rosanna Nadeau is the Principal/Consultant with Prism Perspectives Group, LLC. Focusing on improving organization performance, PPG delivers results through uncommon tools and consulting approaches, as a partner with leaders from initial consultation through solution implementation and measurement. PPG provides employee and management development programs (see and H.R. Management services (see To receive the free monthly newsletter or obtain more information visit or send email to

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  1. I agree, I think that’s a most valuable part of the transition that a manager must make. If we are speaking of development, the question becomes one of “How that does happen, what makes it occur?” I like to think of the workplace as a way that people learn to develop themselves. Unless it happens in a systemic manner, we end up taking a chance on people that may not be ready, when others are.
    In a systemic setting, they learn by gaining an understanding what is necessary for a person to become a leader on the job. The culture should be one that fosters the thinking that leaders create other leaders. That this is one of their main jobs.

    Manager candidates learn what qualities and thinking and relationship skills are necessary for building a team through opportunities to lead informal teams at first, and then increasingly responsible team projects. The advancement should come because of leadership skills gained on the job, and proven under fire. This systemic development process creates a strong and clear cultural bias for skills that build relationships, solve problems, accomplish projects, and are verified by 360 feedback.

    Leaders then, are architects of systems that create leader “factories”, that foster the concern for more and more of the details of running the business, and building the ability to arrive at greater decisions through collaboration, and greater execution through teamwork.


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