CCL's white papers showcase CCL's outstanding work on today's most pressing leadership issues. Learn from publications representing CCL's work in progress, including research projects, conferences and innovative thinking.
Networks: How Collective Leadership Really Works
Today's organizational and societal challenges are too great to be addressed by heroic leaders alone, thus a better understanding of leadership as a shared process is needed. Thirty scholars attending a Thought Forum on Network Leadership at CCL examined this topic, and their insights are reported in this paper.
More >> [409 kb]
Transformational Change: An Ecosystem Approach
Change leaders in organizations can take lessons from nature, where change and systemic disturbances are constant. This paper describes how behavioral change among certain wildlife results in long-term transformation within the system and outlines four stages of transformational change that can be applied in your organization. It concludes with tips to help leaders of change keep their businesses profitable and sustainable through the process.
More >> [699 kb]
Leadership Development Beyond Competencies: Moving to a Holistic Approach
This white paper proposes an intriguing model of leadership development that stretches beyond visible behavioral competencies to include physiological, emotional and mental processes. This innovative model adds aspects of the mind and lived experience for a more holistic leadership lens that includes elements of leaders' inner existence along with their outward behaviors.
More >> [1.2 mb]
"It's Not About Me. It's Me & You.": How Being Dumped Can Help First-Time Managers
Decades of CCL research confirm that many first-time managers struggle and often fail because they focus so hard on their own abilities, neglecting those they're managing. This first paper in CCL's "Transitioning into Leadership" series describes how individual contributors-turned-managers can move from a "me" mind-set to being accountable and responsible for the success of others.
More >> [1 mb]
Delivering a Collective Leadership Strategy for Health Care
CCL and The Kings Fund believe collective leadership, where leadership is shared by each and every member of an organisation, is imperative to delivering sustainable culture change and patient care improvements in the United Kingdom's National Health Care System. This collaborative white paper describes the complex endeavour of developing and implementing a collective leadership strategy.
More >> [534 kb]
Read the related paper from the Kings Fund >>
With the NHS facing bigger challenges than ever before, leaders must ensure that cultures within health care organizations sustain high-quality, compassionate and ever-improving care. Key to shaping these cultures is leadership.
Leading with Impact: How Functional Leaders Face Challenges, Focus Development, and Boost Performance
If you're in charge of a business unit, a geographic region, a division, or a function, this could be the white paper you've been waiting for. Drawing on CCL's interviews with other functional leaders like yourself, this paper examines the immense challenges you face every day and helps you with ways to focus your development and boost your organization's performance.
More >> [693 kb]
Network-Savvy Executives: Five Advantages for Leaders in a Networked World
In this changing, interconnected business world, senior executives can no longer rely on traditional approaches to make things happen. Their ability to leverage informal organizational networks is vital. This paper describes how one network-savvy leader transformed a traditional shipping business into a global best-in-class provider of maritime services.
More >> [407 kb]
Bridging the Strategy/Performance Gap
Why do some leaders fail to successfully execute strategies that lead to excellent business results? This paper explores how an organization's performance can be poor even when its strategy is great.
More >> [323 kb]
Vertical Leadership Development - Part 1: Developing Leaders for a Complex World
Leaders today are strained with trying to make sense of an environment that has grown too complex for their stage of development. This paper's author advocates vertical development — advancement in one's thinking capability — for leading in this increasingly VUCA world.
More >> [302 kb]
The Challenges Leaders Face Around the World: More Similar than Different
A CCL study of senior and middle managers in seven different countries found they consistently face the same six challenges. Learn what those challenges are and how they can be overcome.
More >> [452 kb]
Context Matters: An Ethiopian Case Study
Citing its Leadership Beyond Boundaries work in Ethiopia, CCL offers some lessons learned about making leadership training relevant to the culture and context in which it's being delivered. This paper is designed to help practitioners who are developing leaders in cultures and contexts different from their own.
More >> [426 kb]
Leadership Strategies for Societal Impact
Business success is closely tied to an organization's ability to solve complex problems affecting society. This means that organizations must infuse their approach to leadership and leadership development with a commitment to positive societal impact. This paper provides a detailed "how-to" on this topic.
More >> [557 kb]
What Makes a Leader Effective? U.S. Boomers, Xers, and Millennials Weigh In
Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials are more alike than different in what they think makes an effective leader, according to a CCL study. The fascinating findings of this study seems to defy conventional wisdom.
More >> [1.7 mb]
A Leader's Network: How to Help Your Talent Invest in the Right Relationships at the Right Time
The networks that leaders build can make or break their careers. This paper describes the qualities of a good network and offers ways that the Learning, Development and HR functions can help leaders build networks for career success.
More >> [2.8 mb]
Sleep Well, Lead Well: How Better Sleep Can Improve Leadership, Boost Productivity, and Spark Innovation
Leaders who get their rest respond to challenge, chaos and complexity with clarity, creativity and productivity. This paper will help Learning, Development and HR leaders to "push back" on a 24/7 culture that has executives depriving themselves of sleep to stay on top of it all.
More >> [1.8 mb]
Wake Up! The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience
There is no such thing as a stressful job or a stressful boss, this paper's author insists. Perhaps, rumination is the source of your stress. This paper offers a new common-sense approach to help leaders become more resilient to stress.
More >> [1.9 mb]
Always On, Never Done?
Are you tied to your smartphone for work 24/7? Find out what CCL research shows that managers, professionals and executives blame for this "always on, never done" dilemma.
More >> [655 kb]
Getting Real: How High-Achieving Women Can Lead Authentically
High-achieving women often are not true to themselves as they try to live up to their organization's norms and expectations. Based on CCL research, this paper describes how women leaders can lead better by being more authentic.
More >> [425 kb]
Blended Learning for Leadership: The CCL Approach
Blended Learning for leadership isn't just about technology or mixing classroom with online experiences. It's not about social media or the latest trends that promise to transform learning forever. It's about building, in a thoughtful, systematic way, a structure to enable and support how leaders learn best.
More >> [277 kb]
Are You Ready? 4 Keys to Becoming a CEO
If you have CEO ambitions, make sure you have what it takes to get the job. CCL has found that the well-prepared CEO shows for kinds of "readiness".
More >> [275 kb]
The Effectiveness of the Leadership Development Programme in Europe
Multiple studies show that an investment in effective leadership development can deliver substantive value to an organization. Learn how CCL's flagship leadership program delivers a strong return by successfully developing critical leadership competencies.
More >> [539 kb]
A Leadership Gap Analysis for Chinese Leaders from a 360-Degree Survey
What are the essential leadership capabilities and skillsets needed for Chinese leaders to effectively lead and succeed in today's organization?
More >> [660 kb]
Crafting Your Career: Cultural Variations in CareerRelevant Relationships
Relationships in organizations are increasingly important for both the work of the organization and the different career paths managers take. Learn about the variety of relationships that are relevant to careers of European managers and how managers in different parts of the world may use relationships in building their careers.
More >> [230 kmb]
Using Political Skill to Maximize and Leverage Work Relationships
Whether you are aware of it or not, you likely rely on your political skill to achieve work-related goals. Learn four distinct practices for maximizing the positive impact of political skill on others and your organization.
More >> [1.2 mb]
Developing Network Perspective: Understanding the Basics of Social Networks and their Role in Leadership
If you can identify patterns of relationships or people in your personal and organizational networks that encourage or undermine your success, you have what's called "network perspective." This paper describes what network perspective is, why it's important, and how you can develop it.
More >> [1.6 mb]
The Irony of Integrity: A Study of the Character Strengths of Leaders
Highly publicized ethical scandals have challenged our faith in the integrity of today's leaders and public figures. With these scandals in mind, CCL examined not the character weaknesses that provoke such indiscretions, but the character strengths that top executives and middle managers need to maintain leadership with integrity. This paper describes those strengths and explains why leaders need them.
More >> [379 kb]
Through the Looking Glass
For better or worse, relationships on the job shape managers' careers. This white paper, based on a CCL study of male and female managers in five countries across Europe, explores the many ways that relationships can help or hinder managerial careers. Read first-hand experiences of managers in the study group.
More >> [1.2 mb]
Expanding the Leadership Equation: Developing Next-Generation Leaders
Do today's leaders see young people as having what is needed to be tomorrow's successful leaders? A CCL study uncovers the answer to this question, as well as several other questions about developing youth of the future.
More >> [1.1 mb]
View all past white papers