The John Maxwell leadership training center shares four steps for executives to improve corporate management practices.  Most critical need of all is for a key executive to sponsor & back those key changes:

Leadership is not something that rises to the surface because of technology, economic necessity or what is currently trending in the business world. Leadership is a trait of being that has existed since the beginning of mankind. And it will always be part of the fabric of living as long as the human race continues to exist. As John C. Maxwell says “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”

In fact, a 2015 global study on this issue by Los Angeles-based Korn Ferry points to executive sponsorship as the chief roadblock to leadership development success. The study polled more than 7,500 executives from 107 countries, ultimately uncovering that 55 percent of respondents rank their return on such development efforts as only “fair” to “very poor.”

What was to blame? You guessed it: A general lack of active executive sponsorship, buy-in and support from the top. I urge you to check out the report. It offers specific tips for increasing the effectiveness of your organization’s leadership development plan, including:

1. Embed leadership development in the culture and strategy. Embrace the idea that leadership development is a continuous process and not just made up of one-time classes or one-off events.

2. Make leadership development more relevant and engaging by focusing programs on the organization’s current strategies and business issues.

3. Roll out relevant and appropriate development for all levels in the organization, including senior-most executives and the C-suite.

4. Don’t cut back on investing in leadership development when times get tough. That is the time to double down on efforts.