Achieving the Most Challenging Goals of Leadership Development

A whopping $50 billion is annually invested in leadership development – making it a major investment for many organisations. Its biggest challenge lies in identifying the most crucial (and challenging) aspects of leadership that remains elusive for many leaders. 

There is an adage that goes: successful people tend to do the hardest things first. This may be effectively applied to the art of leadership. 

And there is scientific reasoning that supports the saying – a phenomenon known as ego depletion. The popular theory states that willpower is drawn from a limited supply of energy. Leaders who spend their energy on the easiest tasks in their daily schedule may be exhausted by the time they arrive at the tougher challenges. 

This might eventually lead to habitual procrastination, which is extremely detrimental to an organisation. As leadership expert John C. Maxwell once shared, “a leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” Leadership development should prioritise the biggest and hardest organisational challenges above all else. 

Here are just some of the most challenging goals of leadership development that we often hear.

Inspiring Employees To Pave Their Own Ways

According to Gallup’s research “Re-engineering Performance Management”, only 2 in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that enables them to do outstanding work. 

Leadership development is centred on how an organisation manages its people toward achieving a set of goals. Inspired individuals are more likely to be self-driven, and willing to go above and beyond for the company. Inspiration largely stems from fostering a sense of trust and purpose in workers. 

However, inspiring employees has proven to be an uphill battle for many CEOs. Research from PWC Global states that more than 50% of CEOs fail at translating purpose and values into actionable practices for their people. When more people can piece their purpose at work with their organisation’s values, the self-driving individuals tend to increase the ROI at an exponential rate. 

One solution for this vagueness between action and direction may be clarified with an immersive strategy known as gamification. The process borrows from the fundamental structure of goal-setting and rewards characterised by video games. 

Gamification highlights the main actions/tasks required while delivering satisfaction through the fulfilment of objectives. The approach is an effective motivator as it stimulates the innate human desire for significance and purpose. 

Emotional Intelligence For A More Humanised Leadership

Emotional intelligence/quotient (EQ) is a prerequisite in leadership development. Scientific author Daniel Goleman strips the concept down to its five elements: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and socials skills. 

Many successful organisational leaders have mastered the five components of emotional intelligence. This enables them to have greater control over their emotions and interactions with their employees. Leaders with higher EQ are approachable and likely to encourage discussion among employees. This reduces misunderstandings and keeps individuals and teams working with maximum productivity. 

Leaders can improve their EQ by spending more time listening and understanding the needs of their employees while practicing an open-door policy too. 

Coping with Change And Leading With Confidence

As proven by the recent pandemic, change is the only constant. Successful leaders must be highly adaptable to the slightest changes in the industry. This will provide them with a significant edge over ill-prepared competitors who face downtime during a crisis. 

Visionary leaders tend to maintain a positive work culture and while always considering the big picture through long-term plans. Also, it is crucial to watch, listen, and wait for the right time to act before settling on the best decisions. 

Leadership may be a multiplex process, but leaders will have an easier time by facing the most challenging goals of leadership development first. 


StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in identifying and maximizing their talents, in driving engagement and increasing motivation in their work and life.

Sign up for our upcoming StrengthsAsia Showcase Workshop to enjoy a world-class facilitated experience to learn how you can optimise performance with Cliftonstrengths engagement strategies. 

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

Aly is StrengthsAsia’s marketing and communications guru and lead editor. She's over the top inquisitive and everyone in the company knows her as “The Googler” as she practically googles everything. Honestly, we all worry for her… She is also the Principal Trainer for our one of a kind ice cream team building workshops in Asia.

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