Why is Leadership Development Important? [+Free Leadership Assessment]

If you’re a leader in a small/mid-sized business, you probably know what it’s like to wear many hats.

This makes it challenging to focus on growth in one specific area. However, it’s essential for the health of your team and organization that leaders take the time to grow their leadership skills.

I’m a certified leadership development and business strategy coach and I wanted to share some tips for your SMB to prioritize leadership development for your executive team.

Why is Leadership Development Important?

Improve Leadership Skills

This one is obvious. When you invest time in becoming a better leader, the outcome is (drumroll, please) becoming a better leader! 

Here are a few specific areas where I typically see my clients improve their leadership skills:

Personal Growth and Self-Awareness

Leadership development starts with personal growth. Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement is crucial. Effective coaching provides insights into your behaviors and habits and offers strategies to enhance your abilities. This self-awareness is the foundation for strong leadership.

Enhanced Decision-Making Skills

Leadership coaching sharpens your decision-making skills. By working with a coach, you can learn to analyze situations more effectively, consider various perspectives, and make well-informed decisions. This not only improves your confidence but also encourages a culture of strategic thinking within your organization.

Driving Organizational Success

Strong leaders inspire their teams by setting a clear vision and motivating everyone toward common goals. Leadership development ensures that you have the tools to lead by example, communicate effectively, and manage conflicts constructively. These skills are essential for driving your organization toward sustained success.

Improve Team & Organizational Health

Did you know? Employees who strongly agree that they trust their organizational leadership team are 4x as likely to be engaged at work (source).

Stronger leaders grow stronger teams, becoming the foundation for a stronger company.

Compared to companies with weaker leadership, companies with healthy leadership teams exhibit traits such as:

  • Higher employee engagement and commitment to the organization
  • Boosted productivity and innovation
  • Top-tier culture
  • Reduced turnover/improved retention
  • Quality talent attraction
  • Healthy transitions
  • Improved decision-making and adaptability as an organization

4 Leadership Development Tips for SMBs

Now, let’s get into how to prioritize leadership development as a small or mid-sized business.

1. Commit to Continuous Learning

If you don’t commit, it won’t happen. I’ve learned that lesson many times through my own leadership journey.

Make it a point to set quarterly objectives for each member of your leadership team that will help them grow. Attend conferences, read leadership books, connect with like-minded leaders in the industry, or take online courses. Whatever it is, each executive team member should make a public commitment to each other to prioritize learning and growing each quarter.

Another tip I’ve learned along the way: Regularly check in with each other and share what you’ve learned. Brainstorm ways to implement those developments at your own company.

2. Get Familiar With How You Work as a Team

Every team is different. Your team has unique strengths and abilities as well as unique — ahem — quirks.

Get to know how your team works together to lean into where you thrive and improve areas of struggle.

Some tools that I love for growing stronger as a team:

  • Working Genius: Great for understanding individual strengths and areas of frustration.
  • 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: My favorite tool for discovering areas of weakness preventing your team from being effective.

3. Build a Support Network

Surround yourself with a network of mentors, coaches, and industry peers. This network can provide valuable insights, support, and guidance as you navigate leadership challenges. Don’t hesitate to seek advice and collaborate with others to broaden your perspective and enhance your leadership skills.

Psst — if you want a taste of what it’s like to have a leadership coach, I offer free 90-minute strategy sessions to executive leadership teams.

4. Set Aside Time to Work ON Your Business

Dedicating time to work ON your business instead of IN your business is the best way to get out of the weeds and see the big picture. Stepping away from the day-to-day can help you better serve your organization and your team by:

  • Sparking innovation and creativity to problem-solve
  • Reconnecting what you’re doing with WHY you’re doing it
  • Decluttering your brain
  • Overcoming obstacles & identifying opportunities

My tips for a successful session:

  • At least quarterly, block out a multi-hour chunk of time to dedicate to working on the business and honor that commitment.
  • Step away from your regular day-to-day — go somewhere you don’t associate with work.
  • Leave the technology behind, giving your brain space to be creative.
  • Let your ideas flow freely.

How Healthy Is Your Leadership Team?

Leadership development is not just important; it’s essential. Investing in your growth and equipping your leadership team with the right tools and strategies will lead your business toward greater success.

Take the Free Leadership Pulse Assessment

Are you curious about your leadership strengths and areas for growth?

I have a free Leadership Pulse assessment. Members of your leadership team can take this individual assessment to gain a baseline understanding of their leadership strengths. 

I love this tool because it gives teams greater clarity on the factors that have the most significant influence on your overall leadership effectiveness. You’ll get the results instantly in your inbox with insights into your strengths and potential steps for continued growth.

Ready to gain deeper insights into your leadership capabilities? Take the Leadership Pulse assessment today.