Cynthia D. McCauley
It probably goes without saying that organizations have an ongoing need for effective leaders. And although organizations bring effective leaders into the organization through recruiting and hiring processes, a significant part of the ongoing need is met through leader development. In the Introduction to this handbook, leader development is broadly defined as the expansion of a person's capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes. For organizations, developing leaders includes enhancing their performance in current roles, improving their ability to carry out the tasks of leadership in ways congruent with changing organizational realities, and, for some, expanding their capacity to take on higher positions.
With a continuing need for effective leaders, organizations set up various processes, practices, activities, and roles to develop them; in other words, they craft leader development systems. A system is broader than a leader development initiative or a curriculum. It encompasses all aspects of the organization that contribute to producing effective leaders. This chapter focuses on the elements of a leader development system and advocates for an intentional and mindful approach to designing, shaping, and refining that system.
We find it useful to think about a leader development system from four perspectives: purposes served by the system, segments of the leader population being developed, ...