Leadership development refers to activities that enhance the skills, abilities, and confidence of leaders. Programs vary greatly in complexity, cost, and learning style. Coaching and mentoring are two forms of development that are often used to guide and develop leaders.
According to Baldwin and Ford (1988), the success of leadership development depends largely on the quality of the program, the level of support and recognition from superiors and the characteristics / learning style of the person being developed.
Some commentators distinguish between leadership development and leader development, the former being used when it comes to development programs that focus on collective leadership in an organization and the latter on individuals.
Leadership development is a common process in succession planning, the goal of which is to develop highly qualified leaders who will take over leadership positions when vacant. These leadership development programs generally select high-performing employees who can be longer-term and broader than programs that focus on more demanding end goals.