Leadership training is a must for every company because it is one of sure-fire ways of building effective leadership, and delivering exceptional business results.
Each organization has a unique culture and, therefore, a unique concept of leadership. However, as Vroom and Jago (2007) observe:
“Virtually all definitions of leadership share the view that leadership involves the process of influence”
Without a doubt, great leaders are capable of influencing others in many ways.
They are a source of motivation and inspiration; a powerful force that drives positive culture changes and keeps teams moving forward.
But, the question is, can people learn to be leaders?
And do existing leaders need ongoing training?
Let’s define leadership training.
What is Leadership Training?
Leadership training and development helps identify high-potential individuals that are likely to become leaders and extends the capabilities and knowledge of individuals who already perform leadership roles.
Leaders may need training in both soft and hard skills, depending on your organization’s current challenges.
For example, new and coming leaders may need to develop skills such as listening, conflict resolution and time management, so that they can step in their role.
Senior leaders, on the other hand, may need training to keep up with new trends and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, so that they can better define the company’s overall vision.
Why Invest in Leadership Development and Training?
The first compelling reason is growth. If your leaders are not committed to constant personal and professional development, your organization will eventually stagnate.
This was articulated in the Law of the Lid, the first lesson of John C Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, which states that leadership ability is a lid to the organization’s effectiveness.
The second compelling reason is change management. According to a recent report by Harvard Business School, three powerful forces are redefining the nature of work and create a need for leadership training:
- Rapid globalization: By 2025, the majority of the Forbes Global 2000 public companies will be headquartered in emerging markets. This will require leaders to develop new skills to overcome physical and cultural boundaries and lead teams across borders.
- Rise of remote workers: Within a decade, half of the US workforce will comprise of contractors and freelancers. Leaders will need to learn not just how to manage dispersed teams, but also how to engage and unite them.
- Generation gaps: Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z are rising to leadership positions and bringing in new ideas related to work and learning. This puts pressure on traditional leadership approaches and requires training to overcome differences.
Finally, the third compelling reason to invest in training leaders is the leadership gap—the fact that organizations are struggling to fill leadership positions.