In today’s volatile, complicated, and unpredictable landscape, developing new leaders has never been more important for scaling growth and succeeding long-term. As big and small businesses continue to face challenges, it will come down to employees’ leadership development skills to successfully navigate complexities they’ve never faced before. 

So, why is leadership development important, even more so in 2022, and how is leadership developed internally? Keep reading as we answer these questions and more, to help you craft your own successful leadership development strategy.  


Why is leadership development important? 

For most companies, the leadership development process is often reserved for C-suite executives only. But with a widespread talent pool shortage, business leaders are increasingly seeing the value of a sound leadership development strategy for all. Why? Developing leaders from top to bottom gives your company advantages that maintain sustained success, including – 

  • Attracting and retaining new talent
  • Supporting the execution of strategic growth
  • Overcoming unique or abrupt changes 

In regards to the recent struggle to retain talent, leadership development can also help increase employee morale, which in turn reduces the headaches and cost of frequent turnover. Even more, recent stats are showing that the longevity of successful companies is shrinking, a trend that’s expected to continue. 

In 2018 an Innosights report cited the lifespan of S&P 500 companies is less than half of what it was in 1997. In 1997, companies were often lasting 30+ years – however, that number is around 15 years today, and is expected to hit 12 years by 2027. 

What are the four types of leadership? 

In general, there are four types or categories of leadership that executives might choose to practice or fall into naturally. They include – 

  • Autocratic – Autocratic leadership styles are defined as one leader determining all strategies, policies, and procedures and dictating direction from the top down. It’s typically the least effective leadership style and the least sustainable. 
  • Democratic – Even though democratic leaders, are still the end-all-be-all in business, democratic or participative leadership refers to the approach that gathers input from employees or subordinates to be more involved in the decision-making process vs autocratic. 
  • Laissez-faire – Laissez-faire leadership doesn’t reference a ‘who cares’ approach, but instead puts trust in the employees to make decisions while remaining available for feedback, questions and guidance. 
  • Transformational – Transformational leadership is less of an approach and more of a strategy, that involves sharing a vision and inspiring your employees to take the actions necessary to achieve the end-goal. 

Of course, over time these 4 leadership type pillars have expanded into other leadership subcategories too. Including – 

  • Transactional – Transactional leadership is often defined by the act of reward, or incentivized motivation, i.e. offering bonuses or incentives for reaching goals. 
  • Bureaucratic – Bureaucratic leadership is a combination of democratic and autocratic leadership, meaning that while the main leader or executive might ask and listen to its employees or team, they don’t always implement their recommendations or suggestions. 

How do employees develop leadership skills? 

Regardless of the leadership type you’re seeking to develop or be yourself, every employee will be different in how they’ll develop their own leadership skills. So, as an executive, company owner, or leader yourself – offering the resources to explore a variety of leadership development strategies is key. 

That might include opportunities to attend continuing education; enroll in a college or institution, access to a remo;te leadership platform; or hiring a consultant to develop a personalized leadership development strategy that’s best suited for your unique business and team. 

What makes for an effective leader? 

An all-around effective leader should always be making decisions that are best for the long-term growth of the company and inspiring those around them to do the same. This means implementing effective communication strategies, recognizing successes, empowering employees to be their best, and, of course, leading by example. 

As the world becomes more in-tune with work-life balance, welcomes multi-generational employees, and recognizes recent mental health struggles and sensitivities, an effective leader should also be empathetic and maintain emotional intelligence. These traits are highly favorable to younger talent, and can help unite and motivate potential leaders to develop leadership skills of their own. 

Leadership Development Strategy – The Final Word 

With the day to day tasks of a busy business executive, the leadership development process often falls low on the priority list. But, in today’s market, it’s crucial to build stable foundations to survive current challenges and sustain long-term growth and success. 

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That means it might be time to seriously consider investing in the help of third-party leadership development strategy experts to implement internal processes that will work towards developing new leaders. 

Double Iron Consulting is here for your business today, so you will build a lasting legacy tomorrow. Schedule a free strategy call with our very own Bill Smith, who knows what it takes not only to lead but to develop leaders, too. Learn more about his experience, services, or get in touch to chat now.