Essentials of an exceptional leadership development programme

Essentials of an exceptional leadership development programme

Good leaders will have the capability and talent of bringing out the best in every situation. Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, is an excellent of example of this, particularly as someone who has gone from earning $150 a week at ABC carrying out unskilled labour to being one of the most successful businessmen. Those who have known Iger have commented on his thoughtfulness and optimism, both of which, have enabled him to successfully lead the acquisition of film production giants: Pixar, Marvel and Lucas Film. In addition, Iger has massively increased the value of the company since becoming CEO in 2005.

According to Iger, working at the lowest rank in Disney and moving up the hierarchy gave him an understanding of the business and the different roles that make up the organisation. His ability to make fearless decisions and connect effectively with others arose from moving up the ranks in the business. A positive and decisive leader can take any company to great heights; Bob Iger is a living example of it.

Being calm, logical, motivated and focused are traits of successful leaders. However, potential must be recognised and nurtured early on which is where leadership development programmes can play a pivotal role. This blog focuses on how such programmes mould leaders and the enormous impact they can have on an organisation.

What makes a successful leader?

Leadership is not just about giving orders and having them obeyed. To truly lead an individual has to be an innovator and a mentor who inspires staff and encourages them to be productive. Senior executives and managers of today can create a workforce that strive to achieve their best. This means better productivity, an environment that is conducive to learning and staff that are led by example and not merely words.

A leadership development plan is designed exclusively to uncover and enhance qualities that make an individual an exemplary leader. Having great skills is one thing but knowing how to use them effectively is another. While leaders might differ in their outlook and approach, there are a few qualities that they all possess:

  • Leaders are highly motivated to act positively. They are also futuristic thinkers and do not become overwhelmed when faced with difficulties.
  • Leaders have a strong belief in themselves as well as confidence in their staff. This is what makes their ideas inspirational and encourages them to think outside the box.
  • Leaders are learners and are always eager to look and search for better things to incorporate into their work.
  • A leader is an exemplary speaker but he/she is foremost a great listener.
  • Another notable quality that makes leaders stand apart is how well they handle setbacks. 

What is a leadership development programme?

A corporation relies on its leaders to bring their vision to life. This means managers are required to handle enormous responsibilities and tactfully carry them out.  In such scenarios, leadership development programmes can benefit corporations by helping managers acquire necessary skills for the job. It also helps them to develop their expertise which is beneficial for their own growth and that of the organisation.

A good leadership programme covers the following points:

  • Developing better and positive communication.
  • Creating a healthy balance and shrinking the gap in management hierarchy. This makes it easier for those at a junior position to come forward with their issues.
  • Troubleshooting problems in a wise and discerning manner despite the stressful nature of the situation.
  • Building a great network of intelligent, strategic and supportive managers that are an asset to the company.   

Elements of a successful leadership training programme

Training leaders is not easy and to do it successfully, you will need the right resources. A well laid out development programme needs to have the following attributes:

  • Small groups that offer maximum engagement: Small groups work well for helping students engage with each other. It also allows for the lecturer to engage with individuals, helping to tailor their learning and ensure classes don’t become cumbersome.
  • A multitude of learning methods: Information should be given in a manner that is fun and engaging. This means using different methodologies for the purpose of training including one-on-one participation and user detail manuals. 
  • Well-defined goals for self and company: All leadership courses need to outline goals that are achievable and work for individuals as well as the company. Practical goals make it easier to measure success and create a better blueprint for further development.
  • Mentors that are strong leaders: Great mentors can not only identify but also, bring out leadership qualities in an individual. This is why it is important to create and participate in programmes that are conducted by leaders and veterans of the industry.

Tips for constructing a leadership development programme

A leadership development programme must be created with several points in mind. A work force is a collective group even though different departments and individuals have their own functions. Those working at managerial levels have to align themselves with the goals of the organisation all the more for this reason.

Leadership courses should focus on the following points:

  1. Teaching those at managerial level to make optimum use of talent that their workforce possesses.
  2. Putting a focus on personal improvement plans and making use of criticism positively in order to develop and grow.
  3. Taking notice of where you as a leader are going wrong and learning from mistakes.
  4. Holding regular meetings with management trainees to understand new developments, give feedback and in the long run build your own skillset.
  5. A leader is generally the person staff turn to for guidance which means that he or she must stay updated on latest information. Hence, a good course will place emphasis on building the skillsets of managers on a regular basis.

If you’re wanting to develop your leadership abilities, enrol on the Leadership Development Programme at London School of Business and Finance. This programme will help you understand and shape your inner leader. Enrol today!


This article was written by Nandita Kaushal and edited by Emma Chadwick.


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