Transformative Leadership Development Starts With Corporate Systems

Transformative Leadership Development Starts with a Hard Look at Your Corporate Systems

Fix the problems, elevate your women leaders. That’s the formula.

By Audrey McGuckin, CEO, WOTW - 

Transformative leadership development. Academics define it as “an approach that causes change in individuals and social systems.” At Women On Their Way (WOTW) we agree with this definition. In fact our motto is “You have to shift the system for success.” 

What do we mean by that? Leaders, you have to take a systems approach to solve any systemic problems around gender equity. You cannot transform your leadership development programs without addressing the systems. 

Yet, although organizations and companies spend billions on DEI and leadership programs, they fall short in the effort to help women make tangible, long-term progress. Why? They are not addressing the systems. 

I spent years developing my systems approach to developing women leaders. I’ve identified 14 levers that when adjusted in an organization bring the systemic change that companies need if they are to support women leaders in their organization. I also help women leaders understand and navigate the corporate system, that’s what the WOTW Navigator program is all about.

In addition to addressing the system, stop trying to “fix” women leaders. Seriously, stop it. Even the most experienced, skilled, and driven women encounter roadblocks to professional advancement. Women leaders can’t navigate a system that is broken. It’s like loaning out a car with faulty brakes yet blaming the driver every time the car crashes.

So, what does transformative leadership development look like? It looks like addressing the system while also helping women leaders to navigate the system. If you do this, you’ll experience incredible transformation within your organization. 

As a leader you cannot afford to delay your transformative leadership development plans. Gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability. Companies with above-average diversity produce a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45% of total) than from companies with below average diversity (26%). 

Recently, we acquired Key Associates, a suite leadership development company with a similar ethos. We acquired Key Associates so that we can expand our reach to more women. The combination of our two entities builds something grander. Something that can reach more leaders. And that lights the fire in my belly. Helping organizations transform their leadership approach is what I live for.

As a leader how do you commit to transformative leadership development for your women leaders? I have talked a lot about this in the past and I always start with the first thing CEOs can do is to own their leadership programs. Don’t pass them off to HR. Own them. Lead them. Have your teams be a part of spreading your passion throughout the organization. 

Fix the problems, elevate your leaders. That’s the formula.

If you want to dip your toe into this process, please join us October 18th and November 2nd @10am for the WOTW Virtual Conference  

Join women from across industries as they come together for an interactive two-day experience to learn how to navigate their career paths. The Conference will be curated over two half day sessions, set two weeks apart.  This will create space for self-reflection, feedback, and application to truly cement learning for maximum impact. During these two days together, we help unearth limiting behaviors and mindsets so that women can unlock their fullest potential. Through keynote sessions, breakout groups, and curated material women will walk away with tangible tools to help them reach their aspirations. More information can be found here.

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