Newcastle University Business School

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New app helps managers take a leap into leadership

Research by an expert at Newcastle University Business School has been used as the basis of a new app that helps managers develop and refine their leadership style.

Effective leadership

Set to launch during the SXSW Conference and Festival 2019 in Texas, US, the Leadership Advancement Program (LeAP) is delivered as part of the smartphone app, Leada. It is designed to help managers observe and reflect on their own leadership style in just a few minutes each day.

Developed using the latest research on management and leadership, carried out by Dr Benjamin Bader from Newcastle University Business School  with colleagues from Leuphana University, Germany and German digital company, Leada, LeAP is aimed at new managers who are ready for the next step in their career as well as experienced executives who want to develop themselves.

For experienced managers, it gives an opportunity to reflect on how they deal with their teams and gives them the opportunity to try something different. For newer managers, or managers who are in charge of a large team for the first time, it provides useful advice on different types of leadership styles in a way that users can immediately put into practice.

Dr Bader explained: “Effective leadership is complex, and good leaders constantly adapt their style for the different situations and the people they’re managing. There’s a lot that can be learnt about the theory of leadership - but there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way, and a lot of it can only be understood in practice.

“Good leaders are those who observe and reflect, and where necessary change their behaviour. Finding time to fit this in alongside getting the day job done can often be difficult, of course, and that’s where the Leada app can help.”

Practical support

LeAP screenshots

The Leada app is deigned to be quick and easy to use

The app has been designed along similar lines to the routine of a typical work day to make it quick and easy to use. It sends users two prompts a day to encourage them to reflect on their performance and gives them practical tips and suggestions, with links to resources such as tutorials in an extensive knowledge database that users can explore.

Users can participate in LeAP using the Leada app to follow a 12 week programme that takes them through the basics of three different leadership styles and allows users to track their health, energy levels and effectiveness, allowing them to build a picture over time of how they’ve developed as leaders.  

Human resources departments can also use the app - anonymised data from users across an organisation can be collated to get an overview of performance throughout the day and see trends such as how energy levels impact decision making and productivity, how sickness relates to job performance and when managers are at their most effective.

Earlier this year, Leada won a German Excellence award in the ‘Leadership and Responsibility – Start-ups’ category, and was praised by the judges for being ‘an innovative product that deals proactively with digital change’.

LeAP is available for both Android and iOS from

Ben Bader news image
Dr Ben Bader, Newcastle University Business School

published on: 12 March 2019