Why leadership development is important
Leaders are essential for all lines of business in an organisation, especially since leadership and management go hand in hand. When employees in a firm aim to assume leadership roles, they might not be sure about the appropriate course of action. This is where leadership development programmes become important. In this blog, we will shed light on the purpose and importance of leadership development programmes.
What is a leadership development programme?
The transition from an employee to a leader can be a tough task to accomplish. While moving up the ladder in your organisation, it is essential that you have the apt skills to become a leader. These skills can be acquired through leadership development programmes. They are organised by companies to serve two purposes; firstly, to offer employees a clear pathway for taking up managerial roles and secondly, to help existing leaders hone their skills.
How to create a leadership development programme
More and more organisations are emphasising the need for leadership development programmes. The reason behind this is that it benefits the firm as well as the employees, making it a win-win situation for both parties. So, what exactly does a leadership development programme entail?
To create an effective leadership programme, you need to ensure that the essential elements are included. The ingredients of a successful leadership development programme are:
- Identify and define:
It is important that you recognise the leadership needs of your organisation and then work your way up. While creating a leadership programme, consider the following factors:
- The short-term and long-term strategic goals of the organisation;
- Existing or expected leadership gaps;
- Leadership traits that are critical to the organisation;
- Alignment of the leadership programme with the company’s growth and demands;
- The impact of leadership programmes on your business.
- Focus on development:
Leadership skills can be acquired easily, especially with programmes that present employees with real-life scenarios. An effective leadership programme must include activities that encourage employees to learn and grow. A major component of any skill-development programme is feedback. You should therefore encourage participants to give feedback as this can help them recognise their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Identify potential leaders:
Sometimes, the most obvious choice is not the right one. Top-performing employees may steal the limelight at times, and you need to look beyond this. Work efficiency does not always translate to good leadership skills. Therefore, it is essential that you focus your attention equally on all participants. This can help you identify employees who possess good leadership skills.
- Track progress:
A proper progress tracker should be in place before you kick-start a leadership development programme. Set goals that need to be achieved in order to make the implementation of the programme a success. Some of the goals can be:
- A minimum number of participants in the programme;
- Impact of the programme on employees’ professional development;
- Impact of the programme on employees’ leadership skills
A company needs leaders to drive it towards a productive result. Leaders should be equipped with skills that will help them lead a team of employees to a more productive and profitable goal. Leadership development programmes must help future and existing leaders to derive optimal productivity from their work peers.
How to improve leadership skills
Although assuming the role of a leader may not be your cup of tea, it is possible for anyone to learn and acquire leadership skills. So, if you are also looking to improve your leadership skills, here are some tips:
- It is essential that, as a leader, you have a clear vision of the goals pertaining to the organisation as well as the team. Draw out detailed strategies for your team and share it with your employees. Take feedback from your team and include them in your strategic planning sessions. This is a clear indication that you value their opinion, which makes you a good leader. Moreover, it will open doors for out-of-the-box ideas that might significantly contribute to strategic planning.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses and try to use them to your benefit. As a leader, it is crucial to build your skills and put them into practice. Moreover, you can teach these skills to your team members and encourage them to play to their strengths.
- Maintaining a positive approach towards situations can help shape the confidence of your team. Optimism is a beneficial trait, especially in the face of challenges and conflicts.
- Effective communication contributes significantly to the success of a team. Work on your communication skills as it can help you maintain a transparent atmosphere within the team. Moreover, it will encourage your team members to come up with ideas that can prove to be substantial in achieving set goals.
- Motivation, whether internal or external, is one of the most important leadership traits. Keep yourself inspired and try to motivate your team members to deliver to the best of their capabilities. Motivation plays a major role in increasing the productivity of a team.
- There are different leadership styles that work in different settings. Ensure that you identify the leadership theories that are apt for your organisation and follow them.
The importance of leadership development
Leadership development programmes have beneficial effects on the organisation, its dynamics as well as its employees. Firms are increasingly starting to realise that leaders play a vital role in the smooth functioning of operations. So, why has leadership development become so important today?
- According to the 2016 McQuaig Global Talent Recruitment Report, organisations that have invested in leadership development have seen a positive effect on recruitment and retention of employees.
- Leadership development equips leaders with skills that can help them enhance the productivity of their team.
- Enhanced employee engagement can be achieved through leadership development programmes as it focuses on sketching out a clear path for employees who aim to assume leadership roles.
- It helps set role models for future leaders and encourages them to improve their leadership skills.
- It ensures that any leadership gaps are avoided, especially in the face of change in the leadership panel.
- The RoI (Return on Investment) from a leadership development programme is very positive. It helps potential leaders to take up managerial roles and also boosts the productivity of employees. This can further translate into profitable business decisions and strategies.
- Leadership development programmes have proven to be substantial in improving corporate culture. It will bring about an optimistic influence on the organisation and it works as a great morale booster.
- It can help in identifying potential leaders, who are capable of navigating through challenges in an unpredictable business situation.
Leadership is critical to all businesses, today and candidates who showcase leadership qualities can have an edge over their contemporaries. As the importance and need for suitable leaders is growing, institutes have come forward with courses to help them hone their leadership qualities. One of the institutions to offer a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course in Leadership Development Programme is the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).
If you want to become a good leader, here’s your chance. Sign up for the course today!
This text was written by Meghdeep Patnaik and edited by Amelia Hayward-Cole.