Importance of Leadership Development for Modern-Day Businesses

Importance of Leadership Development for Modern-Day Businesses

By: Dr. Nomita Saxena, Senior Director – Clinical Regulatory Writing, Astra Zeneca

Having completed her Executive program in Business Management & Administration from IIM Lucknow and Executive certification in Strategic Change Management from XLRI Jamshedpur, Dr. Nomita boasts of an 18 years long career during which she has worked with many multinational corporations such as GSK, Accenture and Novo Nordisk, prior to joining AstraZeneca in 2022.

Women Entrepreneur recently got a chance to interact with Dr. Nomita, wherein she shared her insights on the various aspects pertaining to leadership development, especially in today’s dynamic business scenario. Below are the excerpts from the exclusive interview –

In what way could leadership be improved at both national and international levels?

While leaders already know aware of Emotional Intelligence, they must constantly work towards enhancing their Emotional Intelligence Quotient. The reason being when they better understand themselves only then they will be able to understand others’ emotions, manage them carefully and empathize with their teams. Thus, it is paramount for every leader to improve her/his emotional intelligence.

Another important aspect for any leader is communication. If a leader is not able to clearly convey her/his vision & mission, goals and expectation clearly to the team members, the entire workplace will face serious difficulties in collaborating with each other. Also, cultivating diversity and inclusion in an organization enables the company to have a diverse variety of perspectives and fosters a sense of innovation among all personnel. Hence, maintaining diversity across all leadership roles is crucial for a company in the long run.

A strong ethical decision-making process is very important for a leader because every leader is expected to maintain her/his trust and integrity, demonstrate ethical behavior, promote transparency and take decisions keeping in mind their long term impact on the society, environment and all stakeholders of the business.

Can you please explain about the analysis of talent management, personality traits and competencies of global leadership?

Analysis of these aspects involves studying the factors that contribute to effective leadership on a global scale. This includes exploring various aspects such as identifying & attracting potential talent, helping them develop their skills & competencies, and understanding how personality traits can influence leadership effectiveness. By examining these factors, organizations can gain insights into what makes a successful global leader and accordingly devise strategies to nurture and enhance these qualities among potential individuals.

How do you create the right culture for effective leadership development? What leadership qualities and skills did you use to become successful and reach your current position?

Having a supportive environment is the cornerstone of every leadership development process. Once that is in place, organizations can leverage technology to enhance and prioritize leadership development. For this, we should make way for open communication, provide resources and create opportunities for growth and learning. Additionally, coaching and mentoring also play a key role in the leadership development process, wherein aspiring leaders can be paired with experienced mentors who can provide guidance, share insights and help them develop their leadership skills.

Coaching programs can also be implemented to support individual development plans. We must foster a culture of continuous learning and personal growth, encourage leaders to seek training, attend workshops & conferences and engage in self-reflection to identify areas that need improvement. Additionally, feedback and performance evaluation are equally important in the leadership development process, as having such a mechanism to assess leadership skills and provide constructive feedback increases the confidence levels of the individuals and helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses.

For me personally, understanding myself, having an effective communication strategy, showing empathy towards others, strategic thinking, adaptability, staying resilient, continuous learning and the ability to inspire & motivate others were some of the qualities that have helped me immensely in honing my leadership skills so far.

Why is leadership development not more incentivized and supported by companies and organizations?

There are numerous reasons for leadership development not being incentivized The major one among them is having a short term vision. Companies prioritize short term financial results over long term leadership development since they offer immediate results. This is mainly due to the lack of awareness among businesses about the advantages leadership training would offer in the long run. Lastly, the scarcity of financial & human resources and the unavailability of suitable metrics to measure the outcomes of these initiatives are a few other challenges in implementing comprehensive leadership training programs. However, self-assessment and gathering feedback from every resource possible are some of the best ways to assess effective leadership behavior in an organization.

In the light of your robust professional experience, what would be your advice to the young women leaders?

Believe in yourself, have confidence in your abilities and never doubt your potential of being a successful business leader. Only when you believe in yourself you will be able to convince others to have faith in you. Be assertive in expressing your ideas & opinions and prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Also, always look around you for suitable mentors and role models who can provide guidance, support and inspiration. It is also very much necessary for women leaders to connect with other women leaders who have trodden the path of a successful leadership journey. Embrace challenges and never hesitate to take risks, because if you are afraid of stepping out of your comfort zones, you are sure to remain stagnant and not grow ahead.

Every leader must inculcate the habit of continuous learning and invest in her/his personal and professional development by attending various leadership training programs, workshops and conferences. Make sure to stay updated with the latest industry trends and build strong networks and relationships, since they are essential to achieve an effective career advancement. Most importantly, make sure to support and uplift other women leaders by creating an inclusive environment where they can express themselves freely.