There is a bullish, uncompromising law that you cannot ignore as you consider building a leadership development culture: the values of the leader become the values of the organization. Now, I’m not necessarily talking about the values that are posted in the hallway by the water cooler, but the values the leader lives out on a day in day out basis. (Unfortunately too often there is a big difference between the two). A leader may order the execution of a new leadership development program, set an organization wide goal for the development of leaders or even assign a task force to develop solutions to the leadership development problem. But if he himself is not involved in developing leaders then that organization will never cultivate a leadership development culture.
Don’t worry senior leaders, this does not mean that you have to suddenly put aside significant portions of your role to take on this new added responsibility. No, it simply means you begin to invest in replicating yourself in at least one other person in the organization. If you don’t model it yourself you can’t expect it from others. But realize, It’s not the volume of leaders you reproduce that matters; it’s your voice and actions championing the cause that will lead others to follow your example and ultimately be the greatest contributing factor in building a culture of leadership development in your organization.