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Developing Great Leaders: Key Answers to Recurrent Questions


So much has been written in numerous books, articles and research studies about “great leadership” nowadays. However, it is still unclear what’s mandatory for professionals to become stand-out leaders and drive positive change within employees and organizations.

Roselinde Torres, leadership expert and also senior partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group, studied the skills and essential actions that differentiate great leaders from other professionals in the field.

To evaluate the effectiveness of leadership development programs, she conducted a study of 4,000 organizations and discovered that 58% of them have major talent gaps for critical leadership roles. These results prove that more than half of the companies involved in the study failed to develop a sufficient number of good leaders, in spite of all the efforts of organizing corporate training programs, assessments and coaching.

But why is it so difficult to live up to expectations when companies invest so many resources in leadership development? And what are good leaders doing particularly different to succeed and grow?

Roselinde Torres revealed the traits of leaders who manage to grow to their full potential, as well as the better practices that all professionals can focus on from now on. She identified 3 crucial questions whose answer is key to their leadership success:

  1. Where are you looking to predict the upcoming change to your business model or your life? According to Roselinde Torres, the answer to this question lies in your daily actions. Analyze who you spend time with, what discussion topics you approach, the places you visit, the resources you read and most importantly, the decisions you make so that you’re prepared and ready for the rapidly evolving business environment.
  2. What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network? The pattern that Roselinde Torres discovered along her career is that good leaders understand the importance of having a more diverse network, as different people with difference backgrounds can help you identify brilliant solutions.
  3. Are you brave enough to leave behind a practice that has made you successful in the past? Good leaders dare to think and act differently. They don’t just talk about risk-taking, they actually take action.

“So what makes a great leader in the 21st century? I’ve met many, and they stand out. They are women and men who are preparing themselves not for the comfortable predictability of yesterday but also for the realities of today and all of those unknown possibilities of tomorrow” Roselinde Torres states.

Watch this inspiring TED Talk and learn more about the best practices and insights on becoming a great leader.

Video source: Torres R. (2013), What it takes to be a great leader, TED Talks

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