• Jan 18 2023

The ExecOnline Leadership Development Maturity Model

A Framework for Developing Future-Ready Leaders 

Many organizations use Learning and Development (L&D) maturity models to assess the efficacy of L&D programs. What’s been missing, however, is a distinct framework for assessing and strengthening leadership development.

So what’s the difference? L&D is inclusive of learning activities including onboarding, job-specific skills training, compliance, and other commonplace activities. Leadership development, however, focuses on accelerating leaders’ professional growth and ability to confidently lead others to drive business impact.

Why Leadership Development Matters

A company’s success or failure in large part depends on the ability of its leaders to inspire, engage, and direct their teams to achieve success. When leaders fail to support their teams and fall out of alignment with organizational goals, they negatively impact retention and engagement, resulting in poor productivity and sending ripples of turbulence through the company’s culture. This ultimately makes it difficult to  maintain competitive levels of service, appeal to and retain customers, and attract top talent.

ExecOnline’s Leadership Development Maturity Model was created to offer a clear framework on which organizations can build and scale leadership development programs with measurable impacts on talent and business goals. 

Developed by ExecOnline’s Research team, the model is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on leadership development and is designed to provide HR and Talent teams with a data-driven blueprint to build the future of leadership at their organizations. 

The Four Elements of the Leadership Development Maturity Framework 

The ExecOnline Leadership Development Maturity Model provides an actionable framework for assessing and strengthening leadership development in four dimensions:


To maximize impact on organizational goals, your leadership development program should be firmly embedded in your company’s business strategy. 

The capabilities your leaders need to succeed evolve as your company grows and adapts to emerging challenges and opportunities in the business environment. Strategic leadership development targets the relevant competencies with learning experiences that accelerate leaders’ ability to drive results. 


World-class leadership development measures its impact on employee engagement, retention, professional growth, and business results. 

Comprehensive data reporting on the tangible impacts of your program empowers you to refine your strategy and move the needle on the metrics that matter most to your leaders and your organization.


To gain and maintain competitive advantage, your organization needs capable leaders at  every level. Widely accessible leadership development ensures that all leaders have opportunities to upgrade their capabilities. 

When learning is offered on an ongoing basis, leaders are able to continuously learn and apply the capabilities that are immediately useful to their role. Visibility into how leadership development moves the needle on DEIB goals helps ensure equitable opportunities for professional growth. 


Mature leadership development is designed to scale with organizational growth and meet the needs of individual learners in a distributed workforce. 

By building scalable leadership development programs, you help ensure that all leaders are prepared to drive impact against personal, team, divisional, and organizational goals. 

A Blueprint for Success

ExecOnline’s integrated solutions help HR, Talent, and L&D teams make measurable progress in each of the four dimensions of leadership development maturity. Let us help you:

  • Be more strategic by targeting critical leadership capabilities with customized learning journeys.
  • Be more measurable with real-time data and in-depth impact reporting through ExecOnline’s Enterprise Portal.
  • Be more democratized by tapping into our on-demand programs featuring world-class content, available to your leaders everywhere, anytime.
  • Be more scalable by growing your program with cost-effective online programs that meet the needs of every leader.

To get the four-part framework for building and scaling world-class leadership development, download the ExecOnline Leadership Development Maturity Model below. The report includes a breakdown of the 10 aspects of leadership development maturity that comprise the Leadership Development Maturity Score. Plus, you’ll gain insight into the average maturity scores of other organizations.

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