Expensive mistakes in leadership development

A new McKinsey Quarterly report suggests that much of the time, effort and money invested in leadership development programmes is wasted, and identifies personality and judgement as one area that needs serious consideration.

According to the report, the market for managerial and leadership development approaches $14 billion in the US alone. Yet in spite of the level of investment, relatively few companies believe they have the human capital to exploit business opportunities to their best advantage. The report identifies a number of areas where companies get their leadership development approach wrong.

One such point is that while companies understand that changing behaviour of individuals is often important for their development, attempts to do so are often unsuccessful because the underlying reasons for leaders behaving the way they do is not taken into consideration. Self-awareness in terms of one's own personality and leadership style is often a precondition of change. These are areas that can be easily addressed with psychometric assessments such as the NEO PI-R and the Leadership Judgement Indicator.

The report also illustrates that a 'one size fits all' approach to development is rarely effective. Rather, training leaders in a small number of relevant competencies will make a more significant difference to performance. This approach reflects one of the central ideas behind the NEO PI-R Primary Colours® Leadership Report.

The McKinsey Quarterly report, authored by Pierre Gurdjian, Thomas Halbeisen and Kevin Lane, provides European case studies to support their findings and is available to download here.

  • News