In the conclusion to their book Building Leaders, Jossey Bass, San Francisco, 1999, Jay Conger and Beth Benjamin conclude:
\"The danger we see is that executives and managers will continue to believe that a single program or initiative is all that it takes to begin the leadership development process. In reality, an organisation needs the mind-set of the military, where leadership development becomes an integral part of a manager's daily life and essential to the organisation's future success. As a result, it is seen as a long-term investment requiring continual training, guidance, mentoring, rewarding, and the provision of a continuous stream of developmental opportunities over one's career.\"
Our experience shows that this analysis continues to be valid. Unfortunately very few organisations adopt a long-term approach. Most continue to seek short-term solutions instead of adopting comprehensive, holistic and much more beneficial developmental programs that incorporate the following essential elements:
- sound potential leader selection systems and procedures,
- a well understood and accepted leadership model,
- work-focussed experiential training programs based on the accepted leadership model,
- challenging and meaningful followup action learning work-based progams and projects,
- purpose-designed 360 degree developmental followup to continue leadership learning, and
- selective employment opportunities to provide depth and variety to assist potential leaders develop their full capabilities.