September 2012
Issue Map
TD Magazine

Four Mistakes to Avoid When Developing a Leadership Strategy

Friday, September 7, 2012

A leadership strategy is a future-focused, long-term business plan that ensures that the organization has the right capabilities (strategic, operational, and organizational) to be competitive today and in the future. Talent management professionals need to have support from the top and thorough knowledge of the business when putting together these plans. Here are four common mistakes to prevent.


Failing to gain enough support from the CEO. Without it, your chances of success drop to less than 50 percent.

Confusing a leadership strategy with a succession plan. While they are similar, your leadership strategy should be an active, business-centric plan that is owned and led by the senior-most business leaders of your company.

Lacking a clear definition of what leadership means in the context of your business strategy and organizational model. Leadership is contextual, and you need to understand those capabilities that will keep your organization competitive.


Ignoring the complementary power of the team. The value of the leadership strategy is that you look holistically at the capabilities of the business. You need to build "extreme" teams with leaders who complement each other so that you can become a powerful resource for your organization.

These tips were adapted from the September 2012 Infoline, "Developing a Leadership Strategy" by Annmarie Neal and Daniel Sonsino, available at

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

Be the first to comment
Sign In to Post a Comment
Sorry! Something went wrong on our end. Please try again later.