In today’s fast and volatile business environment, effective leadership is of critical importance. Without skilled captains at the wheel, your organization might drift aimlessly or even flounder. For your organization to reach its true potential, it needs to be guided by people with experience, vision, savvy and rigorous leadership qualities. The fact is that effective leaders drives organizational performance and leadership development is vital for the success of any organization. Before any leadership solutions program can be formulated and implemented, a survey must be made to get a clear picture of the existing situation. This can be done through leadership assessments and leadership audit programs. Leadership Assessments are flexible tools to evaluate the criteria that drive performance. These include style, judgment, culture fit and potential challenge areas. Assessments are carried out through the use of structured interviews, development centers and simulations. The information garnered from these assessments can be used for leadership selection, in-depth leader development and succession planning. Accurate assessment of job performance is vital for the development of effective leaders and this is where 360 degree feedback plays a key role. Realizing that feedback from just one source, usually the supervisor was limited, organizations began gathering performance appraisals from many parties with whom the party had contact. Also known as multi-source feedback, multi-rater feedback, multi-source assessment, and the full-circle appraisal, this system gathers assessments of an employee’s performance from a range of sources including subordinates, peers and supervisors. Self assessment is also made. The great strength of this kind of feedback system is that it helps employees understand how their work is perceived by others. In this way they can learn their strengths and weaknesses and thus areas for growth and development. Effective 360 degree feedback depends on its key components – the raters and the questionnaires they fill in. The success of the initiative hinges on the selection of the raters and development of reliable questionnaires and this is a highly specialized field. 360 degree feedback has been found to be most successful when an expert is involved. You can hire experts from professional human resource organizations to provide high skilled objective services and ensure accurate feedback programs. Leadership audits are a way to gain insights into the current performance of your leaders and thus identify paths to improvement. Audits can cover effectiveness, performance, alignment, capability and value for money. Other than evaluating the performance of your leaders across various levels within the organization, you can also compare their effectiveness with regional and global organizations and populations. Once assessments and audits have gathered the necessary information, leadership solutions programs can be implemented. These can take the form of master classes and workshops, multi-rater feedback, team building and leadership exercises, development toolkits, and development centers and simulations. Through a series of varied and tailored activities such as these, the leaders can grow and learn to function well in a range of environments. Other than enhancing the capabilities of existing leaders, another key task for the strategic organization is to identify the leaders of tomorrow and prime them for their roles. One important thing to remember is that not only must leadership development program be tailored to individual industries, companies and regions; they have to be tailored to each organization. This means that the organization itself is unlikely to have the insight and resources to handle things. Only a human resources firm with specialized skills in leadership development can truly have the vision and experience to establish such a program. Once you start to develop the competencies and capabilities of your leaders including implementing 360 degree feedback, you’ll find wonderful things start happening. Armed with the ability to effectively resolve competitive and economic challenges, your executives, managers and supervisors can increasingly inspire and engage your organization to enhance business performance, unlock your potential and boost your bottom line. If you’ve decided that investing in your organization’s leaders is the way ahead for your operation, you can find professional firms with the specialized skills and experience to provide the leadership solutions your need. This is the kind of investment that pays rich dividends in the future performance of your organization. Check the web sites of leading international companies who offer leadership development programs to find the right 360 degree feedback and leadership development programs for your needs.