Essentials for Effective Leadership Development Training

Leadership development training
“To be a leader means to have determination”, wrote Lech Walesa. It means to be resolute inside and outside, with ourselves and with others.

Is it really possible to provide leadership development training for something as individual as character? Well in my experience the answer is yes but it is not simply about developing a leadership training module or workshop you have to work more holistically on both the leader and the organisational culture.


7 Essentials for effective leadership development training
• Leadership Development process driven by CEO and top team
• Competency framework focuses on corporate values and beliefs
• Competency framework is integrated with deployment and development processes
• Action based learning is the primary tool for developing talent, and ensures focus on the needs of the business
• Feedback is embedded in the culture
• Coaching is embedded in the culture, and perceived as a core function of leadership
• Processes for recognition and reward are transparent

More information on leadership training here

Here are some reasons why you can’t treat leadership development training in the same way as some other training topics.

The first responsibility of leadership is to define the go forward aim. Achieving the aim is the ultimate test of leadership. Until you know clearly what it is you want to achieve, you can’t begin to influence and support other people towards it. When the aim is not easy to define, the effective leader takes the time to think it out. Without a clear goal there is no such thing as concerted teamwork. Besides, who will follow a leader who does not know where he is going? So all leadership training should have components of visioning, purpose and influencing skills and have a clear link to business planning.

Here are some basic assumptions that could underpin your leadership development training;
• Successful leadership is situational: success accrues from the response leaders make to situations
• The outcomes are: a strong vision that guides the organisation; motivated followership; durable success
• All leadership competence is fundamentally behavioural

What I am saying here is that fundamentally you have to take more of a systems approach to training leadership development. After all each leader brings aspects of their capabilities and character to the table and leadership does not exist in a vacuum but is expressed in a myriad of different situations and challenges with a wide range of people types.


So I suggest you work at 3 levels:

Level 1: Work on change management and stakeholder engagement (leadership development should belong to the top team end of story)

Level 2: Developing the self-awareness, motivation and learning agility of the leader ( we tend to rationalise our existing behaviour and views of the world, to change we have to look at things differently)

Level 3: Encouraging consultation, collaboration and application of new leadership behaviours with the leaders team and peers. (leadership is a verb it is about doing and leverage, it is not just thinking )

More on theories of leadership


Ten Key steps in leadership development training


1. Develop leadership competencies
2. Analyse gaps between current and desired leadership development practice
3. Ensure CEO and Board commitment
4. Identify core values, vision and organisational specific needs
5. Design and Run Assessment and provide feedback
6. Train participants in adult learning principles and techniques
7. Participants report on themselves
8. Development needs and learning goals shared with teams and coaches
9. Develop programmes for action based learning and awareness-building, with inbuilt feedback and coaching cycles
10. Develop programmes to ensure better leadership performance in team development collaboration and coaching
11. Measure success and feedback to teams and organisation



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