Sep 26, 2006

Thoughts on Leadership Development

Business Leadership can be developed along three axes:

1. Business
2. Functional
3. Technical

It would depend what kind of career ladders are available for future leaders. If there is only one way to grow, then leadership development would need to incorporate the following skills:

a. Business management skills (Incorporates Marketing, Finance skills)
b. Strategic and systems thinking
c. People management skills

Most of these skills are difficult to be taught by classroom method to working executives so need to be imparted by an experiential method.

However if people are allowed to develop expertise in only one of the axes and still rise up the career ladder then the learning opportunities should be driven by them. What is more refreshing about this system is that it builds a larger ownership. However, people might be very reluctant to try and opt for a specialised career track since it limits growth when moving organizations.


  1. Hi Gautam: You're right. Leadership skills very rarely develop through classroom training. In my experience, the best skills come through experience, and through coaching and mentoring from others within or outside the organization. Leadership is something organizations talk a lot about but very few do well. Thanks, Eric

  2. G-

    I've always viewed leadership pretty much the same way but with the minor difference that any organization - hence leaders - are defined by three circles: financial, opertational, and organizational. By themselves, each is significant. However, the person who manages to inculcate in their charges that there is always significant overlap in the three realms is a real leader.

    So few people understand this; hence, any leadership training program needs to focus on not only the individual areas but how, why, and when they overlap...

    Nice, simple,elegant post.

  3. Hi,

    Nice blog!

    Why don’t you consider writing about some of the new “India 2.0” sites that are creating a little buzz as well?