Leadership development has moved to the forefront for today’s most successful organisations. Studies show an investment in development can improve bottom-line financial performance, create organisational alignment, increase agility, and help an organisation attract and retain top talent. As a result, leadership development is seen as an important imperative and as a strategic differentiator that can help an organisation break away from the pack.

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers a wide range of development opportunities to meet the leadership challenges of today’s organisations. One of the most popular is the Leadership Development Programme (LDP)®—a flagship, open-enrolment initiative for mid- to senior-level managers. These “middle zone” leaders typically must operate up and down the organisational hierarchy, as well as across functions and silos.

LDP addresses the unique needs of these managers by helping them build the skills and confidence they need to address the tensions inherent in their middle-zone role. They learn to bridge the gap between senior management and front-line workers to create alignment, build commitment, manage change, and translate organisational strategy into effective action.

LDP has evolved significantly over the years in response to changes in the workplace and as new research findings and new best practices emerge. That continued evolution has kept the programme as relevant today as it was at the time of its creation four decades ago. In fact, programme alumni, managers, and executives consistently rank it as one of the best leadership development programmes in the world.

In June 2010 CCL refocused the content of the programme around six competencies that our research shows are most critical for leadership success. Four of those competencies are vital to all leaders (self-awareness, learning agility, influence, and communication), while two are especially important to those working in the middle zone (thinking and acting systemically and building resiliency).

Additional Contributing Authors:

Sofya Isaakyan is currently completing a master’s degree in psychology in business at the National Research University—Higher School of Economics (NRU-HSE), Moscow, where she also earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has worked as a researcher in the International Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research (Moscow) and has lectured in social psychology at NRU-HSE. She obtained an MSc in work and organisational psychology at Maastricht University (NRU-HSE) in the Netherlands. For her master’s thesis, Sofya completed an internship at CCL, where she conducted an in-depth evaluation of the impact of the Center’s Leadership Development Programme and compared its effectiveness for participants in Europe and the United States.

William Mulhern coordinates a global organisational change effort. He began his career in Belgium in the high-tech communications industry and has 17 years of international management and organisational experience in a variety of functions (operations, project, and programme management). He completed his BSc in psychology at University College, Dublin, Ireland, and the Netherlands, and recently completed an MSc in work and organisational psychology at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His work to evaluate the impact of CCL’s LDP programme formed part of his master’s thesis.

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