Can an Organization Gain Sustainable Competitive Advantage through Leadership Development?

This humongous question has been asked by executive education guru Peter Topping at the Emory leadership blog.

I think it's possible if . . .

- the organization makes a real commitment (of time, attention, and resources) to leadership development

- commits to it long term

- thinks through and identifies the leadership competencies required by the vision and strategic plan of the organization

- takes a whole systems view of leadership by looking for leaders, and developing leaders, at all levels of the organization

- adopts the concept of Talent Management and manages the entire life cycle of talent

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 03/23/2006


George Hathaway said…
I agree with you. The real key is whether a company can sustain a competitive advantage without leader development. Consider: as a company grows it needs additional leaders. Bringing management from the outside dilutes the culture which, in turn, impacts the ability to be competitive.

I am not saying that leadership development is what gives a company the leg up. Certainly a sound strategy, good excution, compelling vision, etc are all important. But to sustain that you need aligned leadership. That comes through a development system starting at the top.

George Hathaway
Terrence said…
Absolutely agree, George.

You might enjoy reading the white paper on intangibles (such as leadership development) that I blogged about earlier today.


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