The Developmental Leader

"We shape our actions and responses in life in accordance with our interpretations of the larger patterns of actions that impinge upon us." (Niebuhr, The Responsible Self)

In pursuit of attaining our highest and best self, we remain committed to a "dual bottom line" approach to leader development: both technical development with competencies to support warfighting missions and human development for higher functioning beings with character necessary to build tough and adaptive sailors at war and peace.

Leader development is an ongoing and continuous process to deepen, broaden and differentiate future leader’s capabilities as they strive toward their maximum theoretical limits.

As such, impactful leader development is not due to fortunate happenstance - it is an act of will, a dedication to deliberate practice, discipline and mastery.


It demands complete ownership of this very personal journey.

So...what skills and mindsets does it take to be an adaptive and developmental leader during times of uncertainty and change?

Developmental growth lies at the heart of the Navy’s approach to leadership. At NLEC we have been working to capture this growth journey. Understanding that there are individual lines of development for each of us and that individuals and groups progress through distinct stages of development, we have captured this highly personal transformation process (please see the attached Growth Map).

Solely relying on leader development practices that have served us well in the past, may not meet the special needs of our future leaders. Missing this target could be detrimental if we send leaders off to their next responsibility feeling more prepared than they actually are to face new realities. It will be imperative now more than ever to approach future challenges with an open and learning mindset.

Are you a developmental leader?

Looking for the ROI? William Byham’s article, "The Business Case for Leadership Development" may be of interest.