CIPD and DDI survey shows leaders recognise the benefits of external advisers in smoothing the path to the top

More than four in 10 senior level leaders believe that external advisers, mentors or coaches play the most dominant role in a successful promotion, according to new research.

A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Development Dimensions International (DDI), however, found that one in three respondents said that their employer provided little or “very poor” support in aiding the mental adjustment required for each new transition.

Eight in 10 strategic leaders recognise that formal training plays an important part in developing successful leaders, and a quarter said it was the toughest challenge to overcome. Half believe they are unable to address it within their organisation.

Vanessa Robinson, organisation and resourcing adviser at the CIPD said: “A leader does not operate in isolation. Support from colleagues and the organisation are essential if a leader is to be successful. Our research shows that coaches and external advisers play the most significant role in leadership transitions with 43% of senior level leaders citing their contribution.

“Providing training and equipping leaders with the right resources and development tools are essential. Leaders need to understand that their new role requires different ways of thinking and a ‘mental shift’,” Robinson said.

Simon Mitchell, DDI director added: “The research demonstrates that leaders need much more than congratulations and a pat on the shoulder if they are to succeed and thrive.

“Simple things like helping newly promoted leaders anticipate what they need to do differently would make a huge difference to the effectiveness of those in transition,” he said.


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