Flying High: A Leadership Development Case Study

Why was our client seeking leadership development help?

Quest Leadership was contacted by an airline catering business seeking support to design and facilitate a second generation of advanced business leadership programmes. The objective was to build on the knowledge already gained in delivering the early versions of the programme and design a course that helped senior managers not only establish what good leadership is, but also to learn how to apply that knowledge to the current business challenges they faced…

What was our solution to their leadership development need?

A three and a half day leadership development programme emerged from the design process that had a number of critical elements, such as:

  • Looking at the business case for stronger leadership (including an input on the corporate strategy and an ‘intimate’ conversation with a board member)
  • Use of 360° feedback via the Leadership Practices Inventory (helping leaders develop a greater awareness of their strengths and weaknesses and creating the appetite to take action)
  • Access to one to one coaching within the programme (providing participants with some personal reflection time and the opportunity to have a more in-depth look at how they could develop as a leader in the business)
  • Use of Kouzes and Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership as a basis for discussion and experiential learning (each module ending with an opportunity for business focused action planning and personal commitments)

Following prototype design work a pilot programme took place in Asia. Based on this experience the top 120 leaders from across the globe attended the workshop over a period of 18 months.

How successful was this leadership development programme?

Each participant left their event having been exposed to detailed conversations around the future direction of the business and given an opportunity to plan their personal and team contribution.

Stretching and fuelling personal growth …

A shared understanding of what leadership means in the organisation, plus personal strengths and weaknesses, ensured an element of ‘stretch’ and provided fuel for personal growth.

Driving global collaboration and employee engagement …

Participants reported that these events contributed to greater global collaboration amongst senior leaders in the business, where previously only silos existed. On measures such as values surveys, significant improvement in employee engagement was reported in the period after the workshops.

Creating appetite for change …

Aside from the quality and courage shown by the facilitator team, many participants cited using an evidenced based model, such as The Leadership Challenge, to help inform and guide the development journey, as the element that set this workshop experience apart.

As a direct consequence of senior managers attending the programme, Quest Leadership was invited to support several other development activities, including:

  • Leadership development programmes for partner businesses
  • Design and delivery of the leadership module within the High Potential Programme
  • Facilitation of International Management Team sessions
  • 1-2-1 development of key individuals around coaching and delivery based on Kouzes and Posner 5 Practices model and the Leadership Practices Inventory