How to Select a Leadership Training Program
Leaders are Made Not Born
It’s been said many times that leaders are made, not born. They are developed through a series of conscious actions and in-actions, sometimes beginning early in their lives (think captains of sports teams, or president of the student’s council.) However, most people don’t develop into leaders until later in their careers when they receive a promotion or take on new responsibilities.
The good news is that anyone can develop into a leader with the right amount of willingness, proper training, coaching and practice. You might aspire to become a titan of industry, move into a leadership role with your existing employer, or take on more responsibility with your favorite charity. Regardless of your aspirations, you have a far greater chance of achieving these goals if you prepare yourself in advance.
A Strange Dichotomy
A strange dichotomy exists in the leadership training space today, thanks to the overwhelming amount of information available, through multiple channels. While you can gain access to anything you need to know relatively easily, there is also a vast amount of conflicting information available to people today.
Scholars from B-Schools are out there loudly shouting contrarian ideas regarding everything from “Coach with empathy” to, “you should be leading from the bottom, not the top!” There is certainly no shortage of ideas. But the problem with this-or-that type of leadership ideology, is that it really paints people in a box and labels them in a way that is probably not at all helpful.
You Need a Platform
What aspiring or existing leaders need is a platform to work from so they can sculpt their own style. Not dissimilar to Michelangelo creating the statue of David from a giant chunk of marble, or a computer operating system that enables you to load applications that make the most sense for you to perform certain tasks; not a cookie-cutter, blanket approach to leadership development.
When you start with a platform and use it to guide your growth, you know exactly what needs to be done, you know the area where you want or need to develop and it makes it easy to monitor your progress. Best of all, the right platform provides a nice balance of tried and true methodologies, while allowing you to be true to yourself and develop at your own pace.
Here is an effective and recommended exercise to get you started.
- Write down the leadership styles of the leaders in your organization you admire the most.
- Look for the traits that will ensure you become a great leader and are well-rounded in every aspect required to succeed in business. Traits such as vision, courage, humility and foresight.
- Next, write out a simple plan so you can begin today to develop these traits and discuss them with your boss, an associate, a friend or even better, a coach. Can you begin to see yourself as a great leader?