The Importance of Leadership Development Programs

Today, more than ever, developing current and future leadership is a top priority

Articles » The Importance of Leadership Development Programs

Today, more than ever, developing current and future leadership is a top priority. Often times the best individual contributors are promoted to management and leadership roles, based on their technical skills. Typically, they receive little or no training on how to be an effective leader and people manager.

" Leadership is about influencing people such that they come to share common goals, values, and attitudes, and work more effectively towards the achievement of the organization's vision. An effective leader is one who makes a demonstrable impact on one or more of these criteria in a positive way by influencing the behaviour and performance of others. "
- David Bartram 2002

Research studies consistently confirm what we already know - Leadership is critical to an organization's success. While it is essential to have strong leadership at the top of the organization, research studies also reveal that effective leadership up and down the organization is necessary for achieving organizational goals. Companies that invest wisely in the development of their leaders can expect significant returns on investment, including higher employee engagement, compliance, satisfaction, productivity, and retention. Likewise, new managers often confuse leadership with power. They believe that their new position gives them power over their team. Rather than work to develop relationships and understand those under them, they become authoritarian and difficult to work with, or they avoid people issues and continue to focus on the technical aspects of the work.

It is critical to understand the struggles that individuals go through when transitioning from individual contributors to managers, to managers of managers, and managers of businesses. Key paradigm shifts must be made and relevant skills acquired for developing leaders to have the impact their companies need them to. A strong Leadership Development Program assists developing leaders in these transitions through the design and implementation of blended, multi-stage training workshops focused on creating behavior change through both a shift in attitude and the acquisition of relevant new skills.

Underlying principles of a good workshop experience include:

  • Connecting training and development to the values of the organization, and targeting the accomplishment of the organization's strategic initiatives and goals.
  • Making it pragmatic (i.e., "what works" not just what sounds good in theory).
  • Follow up, often in the form of coaching, to ensure ongoing growth and development

This type of program requires a good investment of time and resources but it can yield a far stronger base of new managers in your company who in turn will be better able to develop their employees.

Last updated: Friday, May 6, 2016
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