Leadership development ranks high on almost every company’s priority list but is not as straightforward as it sounds. Setting up this kind of program costs time and money. Which is a pity since most of them are implemented incorrectly. Here are four helpful tips to avoid some hazards when you initiate your leadership development program.
Every Company is Different
A common mistake is that context is often disregarded when people look at leadership. A leader can, for example, shine in a certain company where the focus is on innovation and new products and services, where the same leader can be unsuccessful in a company where the goal is just to enhance the existing offer. "One size fits all" is thus not only an illusion in the fashion industry but also in the business world. Leaders are often expected to have a dozen of competencies that add up to a long list of leadership standards. However, when you identify a more limited number of specific leadership skills, you’ll get better results. This approach does not only benefit the individual, but also the team and the organisation altogether!
Don’t Stop When the Training Session Is Over
Training in the workplace is not an exception anymore. New skills and knowledge are constantly expected in our fast growing society. Employees get the opportunity to regularly take offline training sessions in a classroom like setting. A more powerful educating tool, however, is to learn by doing. How do chefs improve their signature dishes? By making the same thing over and over again. The same principle goes for leaders of a company. Leadership development training should, therefore, involve actual on-the-job endeavours to evoke more engagement. Combining the opportunity for participants to get a decent training while allowing them to gain an actual work experience, is extremely valuable.
Don’t Be Superficial, Get to the Core Instead
When the goal of training leaders is to become more effective, it is implied that certain behaviour has to change or improve. This change in behaviour will also require a change in mindset. The actions of the person in question won’t change if their thoughts and beliefs are not in line with the required change in behaviour. This isn’t about changing people’s personality traits, but more about stimulating a new way of thinking and approaching things in a different way. It’s about looking deeper below the surface to discover the ‘why’ behind certain actions. Conversation is key!
When a big amount of money is invested in leadership development programs, there is a risk of not evaluating the results of these programs. Companies continue to pay for this, without even knowing the effectiveness of them. This, in fact, is worthless. There is a need for feedback from the participants, the skills in question should be reassessed and the career paths of the participants can be monitored. In this manner, you know whether it was worth the money of the company and the time of the participant. Organising a leadership development program is a great move for your company (and your employees), but some guidance along the way is of course always helpful. (our INTUO platform, for example, is capable of facilitating this process. Reach out if you want to learn more about it).