Simply put, a leader is one who leads others towards a goal or in pursuit of a particular vision. Anyone that is a leader has certain qualities and abilities that help him carry other people along. A leader must be a follower to be effective. He also must have the heart of a servant if he will ever succeed. He inspires and motivates others towards a goal. He must be an influencer and should be able to lead by example. There are certain top qualities that distinguish leaders and these include: honesty, ability to delegate effectively, be a good communicator, show confidence, commitment to goals, always carrying a positive attitude, creativity, ability to follow intuition and inspire others, know how to approach issues.
Every leader must keep with the trends and developments in leadership or faces the risk of being left behind. Times are changing and it is important that a training and development system is developed to enable leaders become more effective and dynamic in their approach to the demands of their position. Whether the individual is a leader in an organisation, family, club, society or association, one of their focuses should be how to become better leaders and impact positively on others.
When we talk of Leadership Training and Development, it is all about the activities within an organization or entity that are designed to improve and enhance the performance of a leader. These are educational training programmes that help to sharpen
the skills of the leader and these three activities are covered in this process: training - this focuses and is evaluated against the job the leader is currently doing; education - this focuses on the jobs that a leader may carry out in the future and evaluation is done against those jobs; and development - this focuses on the activities which the organisation engaging the person may be involved with in the future.
Why is it important to your organisation?Leadership training and development is very important to organisations and those that invest in it have a lot to gain. Successful and profitable organisations commit a lot of resources and time to develop and implement such programmes for their people in leadership positions. The success of its leadership and training development interventions will help businesses:
- Achieve its growth and profitability targets
- Implement strategies that will give it a competitive advantage
- Prepare and adapt to changes in the marketplace
- Prioritize to enable them pursue new opportunities
- Improve their financials
- Implement effective sales and marketing strategies
- Attract, motivate and retain the right type of employees
Other Benefits of Leadership Training and DevelopmentThere are a lot of benefits that individuals in leadership positions would get from such programmes. Some of these include:
- Increased ProductivityWhen leaders are training regularly, there is significant improvement in their contributions towards the growth and bottom line of their organisations. Training and development influences the level of productivity of leaders.
- Less time spent on supervisionA leader is one who that leads others. Any leader in a unit or department that requires someone to supervise their work regularly is not really prepared for that position. It is expected that these training programmes will help them become more responsible and productive. As they improve, there will be less need for supervision and this will help to cut costs in operations of the organisation.
- Job SatisfactionRegular leadership training and development brings about increased job satisfaction. The training programmes helps to improve and enhance their skills and knowledge level and this ultimately increases their self-worth. It also brings about job satisfaction as they see that there are other benefits that accrue to them from their work.
These training programmes afford the beneficiaries the opportunity to develop new skills and improve existing ones. There are new leadership skills that they will learn which would enable them function better and more efficiently in their positions. Those in leadership require certain skills to succeed and without exposure to such programmes, it may be difficult for them to perform excellently. Leadership training and development helps to open the minds of leaders to greater possibilities and imparts them with the requisite skills that they need. New and upcoming leaders can also benefit in this regard. This would affect the processes, technology and financial performance of the organisation.
- People ManagementLeaders who attend these training programmes are able to learn how to manage people properly for efficiency in operations and increased productivity. Without understanding how to manage people, there will continually be conflicts in the workplace and this will affect the organisation's level of productivity and profitability. Leaders need to learn how to use this all important resource to their benefit.
- Develop strategiesLeadership training and development helps leaders the opportunity to critically reflect and evaluate new strategies that would help to achieve organizational goals. The knowledge acquired from this programme would be used to gain maximum productivity.
Causes of failure in Leadership Training and Development- Not giving leaders time to reflect on what they have been taught. Most of the time, they are given so much information but do not have enough time to absorb learning and think on its relevance and application in real life.
- Focusing on content and not application: Most of these training programmes are not balanced. There should be good content that can be applied to the circumstances and business environment of the participant or else it would be seen as time wasted.
- Using the wrong venue can affect the success of the programme. It is better to choose an environment where there are fewer distractions. Such programmes should be held away from the office and have a natural setting with comfortable seating arrangements.
- The need to select the right facilitator can be the difference to the success or failure of a leadership training and development event. It is important to check out the background and records of those who are to educate your leaders.