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What Does Leadership Development Entail?

Jun 9, 2008
Improving the levels of leadership in an organisation is not as simple as improving the levels of management. The subtle differences between these two; management and leadership, is as follows. The difference between the two is subtle and managers and leaders have many common characteristics but nevertheless there are differences.

Management deals with the running of a business the practical day to day methods that encourage people to work to the best of their abilities and contribute to the business in the most positive ways possible. Leadership is different in that it refers to the overall vision and drive of a business.

The leader presses the business forward. Good leadership generally involves displaying good qualities that employers look up to and emulate and good leaders are able to encourage staff members to follow them. Developing leadership skills are therefore slightly harder than developing the more practical, technique based management skills.

Leadership development tends to be based on an experiential style of learning. People that are looking to improve their leadership skills will often take part in activities that enhance their qualities as a leader. The range of ways in which these skills are developed is vast. There are hundreds of different types of course that can help improve leadership skills and these courses vary from outdoor pursuits that challenge the participant to attempt new things to high end MBA courses offered at university that take an in depth academic approach to the study of the subject.

But the majority of courses that are run by training providers tend to take a bespoke approach to the delivery of leadership skills and treat each participant separately. This is because people have very different natural abilities.

Leadership is a notoriously difficult subject to teach as it relies on a certain level of natural aptitude. Leaders tend to have a natural ability to lead that can be developed through training but instilling the ability to lead is slightly harder. Nevertheless training providers can find the skills of the person seeking leadership training and work to produce an attitude that will improve the levels of leadership effectiveness.

It can often result in some changes for the person that undertakes the training and can often mean that they have to work hard to develop. This can require consistent application of techniques introduced by the training provider.

Training that takes place in a classroom is a very useful way of providing training in that the person that gets the training is able to refine their skills and get a full knowledge of the theories behind leadership and as a result have a strong background behind the theories which makes it easier to implement.

Some management experts suggest that it is when you take these theories out of the classroom and into the practical arena is when the leader really grasps the concepts and the business will begin to see the effects.

The leadership training programs that are run by providers generally work to work on the main areas of leadership in three ways, develop the characteristics needed for leadership, improve the quality of ongoing development of leadership skills and provide support for behavioural change once the direct training has ended.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a recognised business consultant. He really values the use of leadership development as a method of improving your business.
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