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Where Next for Leadership Development? Problems, Potential and Possibilities

Ian Cunningham (Self Managed Learning College)
Anne Gimson (Strategic Developments International (SDI))
Harry Gray (CANAL Ltd.)

Developing Leaders for Real: Proven Approaches That Deliver Impact

ISBN: 978-1-80071-365-9, eISBN: 978-1-80071-364-2

Publication date: 13 May 2022


This concluding chapter identifies where we might place our attention going forward and confirms the principles on which we should base our work. We do not mandate what should form best practice in leadership development, nor is there an attempt to forecast what might happen globally. We both encourage readers to base their efforts on evidence and point to arenas where there is a particular or pressing need for change, such as in the development of political leaders.

This chapter addresses the continuing lack of systemic thinking and identifies ways in which pressures on leaders are increasing. It also shows how problems of mindset require consideration. The call for diversity will be unsurprising and ways leadership development can and should support this are offered; demand not supply-led, learning as a social process and a call to consider ‘teams’ in a far broader way than its metaphorical origins of ‘teams in competitions with winners and losers’.

We could not end the book without addressing the virtual world into which leaders have been further catapulted recently due to Covid-19. We do not explore this creative landscape in all its exciting detail – that would be a book on its own. We more challenge the idea that the kind of person-centred, open, deeply-reflective and other-connected leadership development the organisational world needs will not be found solely online.

This chapter concludes with a final call to action for all of us to base our work on research, theory and evidenced practice.



Cunningham, I., Gimson, A. and Gray, H. (2022), "Where Next for Leadership Development? Problems, Potential and Possibilities", Gray, H., Gimson, A. and Cunningham, I. (Ed.) Developing Leaders for Real: Proven Approaches That Deliver Impact, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 187-199.



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