This article is part of The Ascender, the Highrise platform for articles and resources.

10 Leadership Development Strategies to Implement

Andrew Langat
May 21, 2024
A leader guiding a team, symbolizing effective leadership development and strategic growth.
Read our case studies document and learn how Highrise helped other individuals to improve their professionnal skills and careers.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Leadership development strategies are not just incentive schemes to attract or retain employees, but studies show that ultimately, they improve a company's bottom line. For example, $1 spent, generates a Return On Investment of $7.

This ROI is not a no-brainer, as an effective leadership development strategy creates desired leadership behaviors, and ultimately helps employees see the bigger picture.

<div id ="one">

Why Does Leadership Development Matter?

Leadership development improves leadership competencies, ultimately creating a team of leaders who can think strategically, identify opportunities, disrupt old business models, lead effectively, and create a future-ready culture.

Leadership development is a strategic investment for any company. Leadership development programs enhance abilities and give managers the skills they need.

Investing time and resources into training current leaders, including senior leaders, and developing future leaders makes them better prepared to compete in an ever-changing business environment.

<div id ="two">

Leadership Development Strategies to Implement

Leadership development strategies

1. Identify and nurture High-Potential Employees(HIPO)

The first step is to identify High-potential employees(HiPo)who have the potential to excel in leadership roles. A study from Havard University lists the following key traits of a High-Potential employee.

  • Ability: Knowledge and skills to do a delegated task effectively. These employees have a high cognitive ability meaning that they can seamlessly transition to more complex roles.
  • Social skills: the ability to manage themselves, and manage others. This means competence is establishing and nurturing relations, and forming alliances with different stakeholders.
  • Drive: Inward drive to work towards given goals. Such employees usually require little or no prodding. They are also, easily dissatisfied with their performance and look for ways of improving that including enrolling in leadership development courses.

2. Provide targeted training and development

There is an absolute need to offer training, for its sake. First, identify the leadership gap - specific skills that need improvement- and offer training.

For example, do you need to improve emotional intelligence? Master leadership behaviors, conflict resolution, improve their coaching strategies, etc.

3. Create Opportunities for Growth(Within and Outside your Organization)

Give employees opportunities to stretch, develop their skills, and take on new challenges. This involves making them interact with senior leadership, getting their insights on critical areas to gauge their leadership potential, etc.

This is vital because growth is not leadership growth is not linear and different employees can excel in one area and slag in other areas.

This could involve developing leaders, assigning them leadership roles in projects, leading teams on special initiatives, or delegating greater responsibilities.

4. Encourage Continuous Learning

Foster a culture of continuous learning within your organization.

This could involve providing access to online resources, encouraging participation in the workshop, and conferences, or creating internal knowledge-sharing sessions.

5. Leverage Mentoring and Coaching

Mentorship and coaching can be invaluable tools for leadership development. Pair high-potential employees with experienced leaders who can provide guidance, support, and feedback.

6. Offer 360-Degree Feedback

A well-thought-out, leadership strategy and development plan should incorporate regular feedback.

One powerful way is through the use of 360-degree feedback, which incorporates anonymous feedback from different sources: senior leaders, peers, and subordinates, allowing leaders to identify their strengths and areas for improvement.

7. Promote a Culture of Feedback

Create a culture where feedback is seen as a positive tool for your leadership development plans, not criticism as part of creating a successful leadership development plan.

Do this by encouraging open communication, and constructive feedback exchange at all levels of the organization and a culture of psychological safety, where employees understand that they are free to speak up, collaborate, and learn from mistakes in a safe environment.

8. Encourage Networking

Networking allows leaders to connect with others, learn from their experiences, and develop their leadership skills. Encourage participation in industry events, conferences, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and professional organization groups.

9. Lead by Example(Be a Student, Not Just a Leader)

Leaders set the tone for the organization. When you lead from the front, it becomes easy for employees to buy into your initiative for growth and development.

Demonstrate the behaviors and characteristics you expect from your leaders. Your own actions and leadership style will have a significant impact on the development of others.

Some of the initiatives of leading by example include: enrolling in leadership coaching initiatives, mentoring high-potential employees, creating opportunities for growth, etc.

10. Recognize and Reward Leadership

Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate leadership qualities.

This could be through formal recognition programs(employee of the month, leadership awards, etc), promotions, or simply acknowledging and appreciating their contributions.

<div id ="three">

Importance of Investing in Leadership Development Strategies

Leaders become great only when equipped with fantastic management skills. Leadership development is therefore becoming a critical and strategic imperative for organizations. The following are the reasons why this is important:

1. Helps employees' careers grow

According to Zippia's research, 83% of organizations believe developing leaders at every company level is important. So, developing leaders help employees gain the skills and understand how they can advance in their careers to turn them into tomorrow's leaders.

Creating an organization's culture of promotion opportunities from within means a clear path for the employees in their careers. This path implies a future for the employees within the company and employees are less likely to leave the company.

According to ClearCo., 94% of employees will stay in a company if there is an investment in their career development. On the other hand, 86% of employees indicated a willingness to switch jobs to achieve career growth.

2. Closes skills gaps and creates leaders at all levels.

A robust leadership development strategy creates more leaders at all levels of the organization. New talents can easily be recognized and individuals promoted to leadership positions.

A good leadership development strategy insulates the other company's leaders from potential shocks and challenges caused by the company leader's absence or sudden departure.

3. Enables and sustains the organization's growth

Leadership development strategies enable businesses to understand what they need to do to succeed in the future. Employees' improved skills from the development courses increase performance resulting in a positive impact on the bottom line.

A Leadership strategy will help the business grow and prepare your team for the future. It equips the workforce with the tools to maintain focus on achieving the business goals.

By providing the team with leadership and business strategy training, the workforce is equipped with the skills to quickly adapt to changes and respond to challenges in their business environment.

4. An effective leadership development strategy preserves business continuity

Investing in leadership development strategies keeps employees engaged, satisfied, and happy improving the company's chances of retaining its best talent.

According to research by Better Buys, organizations with professional development opportunities have a 34% higher retention. In addition, 92% of employees agreed that having access to professional growth was important or very important.

Employees with improved skills ease succession planning when a position in senior leadership becomes vacant due to a departed leader. Responsibilities for leadership positions can easily be distributed to skilled employees to utilize their acquired knowledge and experience.

Recruiting from within the organization reduces the time and costs associated with managerial coaching and mentoring and has the additional benefit of in-house talent with hands-on experience.

5. Prepares the business for the future and improves response to change

Leadership training enables future business leaders to acquire new skills and adapt to new technology to retain their competitive advantage.

Training future leaders to anticipate and respond to change will enable your organization to stay ahead of market trends and maintain success.

6. Better customer experience and retention.

Leadership development strategies attend training for the employees to create a skilled and talented workforce that will serve the organization and create a good customer service culture.

The improved performance increases customer satisfaction. Customers will have a better experience using products and services from your organization.

Employees with leadership development opportunities are 15% more engaged and happy. Organizations with a leadership training and mentoring culture build up employees with greater job satisfaction that filters through to customers.

Want to read more from us? Subscribe to our newsletter to read our latest resources

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

7. Creates leaders who can translate plans into actions

A successful leadership development program develops future leadership that will understand your business strategy. It provides future leaders with the essential skills to implement long-term and short-term business strategies.

Leading companies should always align their leadership development plan with their long-term strategic plan. This will save on training time and significantly speed up the onboarding process.

Employees trained within a company's leadership development program are more likely to understand and execute the strategy and will require less training when promoted to senior leadership or position.

8. Demonstrates commitment to your employees.

Employees are the most important part of an organization's culture. The success of the individuals contributes to the business's overall success. For a company, providing your most valuable resource with the learning opportunities to develop the best skills is a worthy investment.

According to research by Zippia, 78% of business leaders actively and regularly focus on engaging with their workforce. The best way for a leader to demonstrate commitment is to invest in a leadership development plan.

Businesses with successful leadership development programs remove any doubts of career stagnation which significantly improves the retention of the company's workforce.

Leadership is a talent that is in short supply. Only 10% of people are natural leaders and another 20% show some qualities of basic managerial talent. There is therefore a sound argument for senior management of any organization to invest in a leadership development strategy.

<div id ="four">

What's the Future of Leadership Development?

The future of leadership development is shifting from coaching methods to leadership development programs. Traditionally, individuals received training from coaches who guided them toward achieving company goals. However, the fast-paced business environment demands a more proactive and adaptable leadership style.

Leadership development programs address this need by cultivating and refining leadership skills internally, aligning them with the company's goals and culture.

These personalized programs focus on individual development, helping employees become better leaders. This shift towards in-house programs, facilitated by advancements in learning technologies, allows for a more cost-effective and accessible approach to developing future leaders within the organization.

Inspiring, isn’t it ? Want to learn more about connecting self-awareness to professional development? Get in touch today.

<div id ="five">


The process of developing the next generation of employees to gain an organization's leader is of critical importance if optimum productivity is to be achieved and maintained. This process is an ongoing process of discovery, learning, and adoption of new technologies.

Future leadership must invest in a leadership development plan that will determine the long-term company's culture, team engagement, customer engagement, and business continuity.

This is where Highrise coaching comes into place. As part of leadership development strategies, we combine events, skill workshops, peer community, and leadership coaching to create the best version of leaders possible.

Check out our membership today to learn more.

Thank you! Your Downloads is here:
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Andrew Langat
Facebook logoTwitter logo
Andrew Langat is an experienced content specialist in Leadership, Productivity, Education, Fintech, and Research. He is an avid reader and loves swimming as a hobby. He believes that quality content should be actionable and helpful.