The untapped potential of informal leaders

There are people in most organisations who lift their team’s performance without even realising it.

by Ashley Harshak

Recruiting and developing leaders is enormously important to the future health of an organisation, so it’s no wonder that the leadership development market is worth tens of billions of dollars and is growing at 15 per cent annually. 

Despite this, significant numbers of executives are dissatisfied with these leadership initiatives. One reason is that much leadership development has become generic and people do not understand how it relates to them. What it takes to be a leader in a Silicon Valley software business is not the same as what is required in Italian heavy manufacturing.  

The problem with these programmes is that they ignore the qualities needed for organisation specific leadership and the particular value of ‘informal leadership’ that is found deep in a business but which is often taken for granted. 

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