Leadership Development – How Leaders are Made

Leaders are born and not made

This is true – if you are a stickleback fish. Researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered that they can train leader fish to follow, but could not seem to make shy fish become leaders which reinforces the cliché about leaders being born. But fish and humans are hardly similar. We develop through environmental influences, while animals such as these survive mostly on instinct. So, can a great leader be created? The answer is a definite yes and all it takes is the right focus on leadership development.

What is Leadership Development?

Leadership Development – How Leaders are MadeA leader comes forward in various ways. A naturally charismatic person stands out from a group, and others decide that they like him or her enough to follow. Sometimes through a particularly devastating event a previously unknown hero emerges. He or she takes control, remedies the bad situation at hand, and everyone follows. The third situation is when somebody, with no pronounced leader trait and with no adverse condition to arise from, decides that they want to achieve a goal they are passionate about and rallies others to join forces. This is the transformational type of leader and one who can benefit the most out of leadership training.

Leadership development consists of a series of deliberate activities aimed at reinforcing leadership traits in a person, while correcting those that hinder growth. The success of any leadership training is driven by three factors: the trainee’s attitude and behavior, the quality of the training and the facilitators, and the company’s support to furthering the development of its leaders. All are equally important and equally complementary. A person has to have passion for the business, a natural geniality to nurture relationships, and intelligence to understand management concepts. The trainers and mentors, on the other hand, need to have a strong, reality-based program for cultivating leadership skills. They need to be familiar with the challenges and demands of the corporate world to be able to make relevant inputs. Mentors and facilitators need to be dynamic and engaging to sustain the attention of the trainees.

A leadership development program is extensive because it ideally consists of classroom-based lectures, action learning, and follow-through mentoring. Experts in leadership development workshops such as the Magnovo Training Group, can customize sessions to fit individual company needs to ensure maximum benefit from the time and capital investment. Leadership training workshops use individual and group activities to teach potential candidates self-assessment and workplace diagnosis, communication and effective presentation, listening skills, learning agility, and change management.

From Classroom to the Boardroom

Leadership development does not end at the culmination of the formal training sessions. A company needs to provide a nurturing atmosphere in the workplace where potential leaders are given every opportunity to develop their decision-making skills. Potential leaders must be continually challenged with responsibilities that will build their character and personality, and help to form the core of their leadership style. Many companies use various leadership development techniques as a component of successor planning to transition younger leaders into senior position. They are assigned to various departments to give them a personal perspective of how the company’s different components contribute to the achievement of its goals, as well as providing quality face time to the employees in that department. People will feel a stronger bond to a new leader if they’ve worked alongside them in the past and understand that they are not just a talking head, but they really know the business.

The corporate world is very dynamic and market trends can change overnight. However, strong leadership will always see a business through. This is why forward-thinking companies, who believe that the future of their business relies heavily on the quality of leaders they produce, invest in leadership development programs to ensure that they stay ahead in today’s changing markets.