McKinsey, leadership development and me


To start with, and just in case you are wondering, yes that title is supposed to be ironic.

All last year I was advocating a small number of areas where leaders/prospective leaders could or should (although I don’t like the word) focus in order to maximise their impact and to get the best out of their people. The two things are inextricably linked of course.

There’s a clear theme within my thinking – namely “how do you want it to be around you?”

I want to see more leaders choosing one or more of these areas as they focus on their continued professional development:

Remove complexity – reduce interference, clear the path and lighten the load so that strategic objectives can be the focus

Appreciate more – be alert to what is going on around you and set the tone in your team and your business by being the positive person who appreciates

Be authentic – especially through being appropriately open, by sharing your thoughts and beliefs whilst being careful to control of display of emotions

Focus on strengths – think more about what people can do and less about what they cannot

Be inclusive – we are human and seek similarity so learn to value what is unusual to you and to welcome then leverage different points of view

The links take you back to the original blogs I wrote this time last year.

Now there is a really interesting McKinsey article on what really matters in leadership which concludes that the top four leadership behaviours are:

1 – Solving problems effectively (cf. ‘removing complexity’)

2 – Operating with strong results orientation

3 – Seeking different perspectives (cf. ‘be inclusive’)

4 – Supporting others (cf. ‘focus on strengths’ and ‘appreciate more’)

I feel as if I’m maybe in good company. McKinsey don’t have a monopoly on leadership theories but they do know a thing or two. So to see this alignment made we feel I wasn’t out here on a lone crusade.

Maybe thinking around leadership development really is moving in a direction that I like?

(You can find out more about what I do right here by the way:

With thanks to my friend David Goddin for highlighting the McKinsey article.


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