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Are your leaders ready for tomorrow’s challenges?

An organization is an administrative and functional structure, largely dependent on the individuals who are part of it. Most successful organizations know that hiring the “right” people is a critical part of building that structure. But it is the truly visionary organizations who realize the value of hiring, developing and retaining strong leaders.

Are your leaders ready for tomorrow’s challenges? Leadership is the engine that drives accomplishment of extraordinary business results. Leaders execute the mission of a company, and constantly raise the bar. Leaders motivate, evaluate and elevate others and the organization as a whole.

Companies who make a leadership priority often develop or adopt leadership competency models to help guide leadership selection, development, and assessment. They invest in elements to insure a pool of talent is in place, equipped with the right skills, at the right time, to drive the right strategy. And then they confidently mark that task off their “to do” list.

The unfortunate reality is that today’s leaders may be ready for today’s challenges, but they may not be ready for the changes and challenges facing their company or industry next year or even next week. Organizations and their leaders must be able to adapt to change in industry trends, customer needs and competition.

How do you know if your leadership will be ready to meet those challenges? Just as a regular medical check-up is important to personal health, an organization should conduct a Leadership Development Check-Up to insure that its leadership development efforts align with the company’s business strategy and vision for the future.

It’s time to conduct a Leadership Development Check-Up when one or a number of things are occurring. Performance goals associated with the current business strategy are not being met, or a new strategy has been introduced. Executives question if the current leadership will allow them to achieve desired results, and morale and productivity are suffering. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain leaders with critically important skills. Or veteran leaders are nearing retirement, and there is an insufficient pool of qualified individuals to move into these important roles.

A Leadership Development Check-Up should review and analyze these key elements, yielding a model which shows the alignment and gaps between business strategies, critical success factors, leadership competencies and processes to support development. It should also include a summary report of current leadership programs and practices, a gap analysis of strengths and areas of improvement, and recommendations for next steps.

A leadership check-up will lay the groundwork to identify strengths and help fill gaps between leadership development programs and a company’s overall business strategy. However, it is up to the organization to execute the recommendations. A Leadership Development Check-Up strengthens both the credibility and impact of the leadership development function and firmly positions it as a vital lever for realizing organizational results.

Owen Davis is Managing Director of U.S. Operations of TrainingFolks, which specializes in performance consulting, leadership development and designing and executing employee-based development systems. He can be reached at 704-987-7761 or visit for more information.

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