The problem with being a leader is that it can be often a burden. This is because it’s a hard thing to be responsible for other people. Most people try to avoid responsibility as much as they can. However, sometimes, you’re drafted into being the head honcho of a team. It can be a small group of people or maybe even an entire department, but the pressure is all the same for you to lead them to success. This pressure to succeed is why leadership development programs are highly in demand nowadays.
Leadership development may sound like some archaic business buzzword but all it boils down to is that leadership can be trained into people. Of course, this is a fact – leading people is a skill like any other and can be taught. Some people are naturally skilled in it but not everyone can be Napoleon or Alexander the Great. Leadership development seeks to inculcate skills and values that will help you lead successfully. How does it do this?
First of all, leadership development focuses on planning. This is why you notice that most programs like these emphasize you to develop a personal plan for yourself. Plans are generally very helpful – like the old saying says “Measure twice and cut once”, it means that you have a clearly defined path to follow. This way there will be no confusion on the way you have to go to improve yourself.
Next, leadership development emphasizes strict self-assessment. People often say that they know enough about themselves but that is, most of the time, wrong. This is because most people like to think well of themselves – they don’t like to get into the nitty-gritty details of their personality. This is why self-reflection is often unpopular – people would rather point out other people’s faults than having their problematic traits pointed out to them.
Leadership development counselors are strict about you identifying your faults because it will help you deal with them in the future. People need a leader who can inspire them to do their best. A fumbling idiot or an arrogant micromanager is not an inspirational sight. The ability to recognize the problematic aspects of your personality and to either minimize or remove them is one of the hallmarks of good leadership.
Finally, leadership development isn’t all just about navel-gazing. It’s also about learning skills that are helpful in your job as leader. Some of these skills are administrative ones like balancing a schedule or writing an assessment report. Some of them are about interpersonal skills; part of being a good leader is being able to relate to your subordinates in a way that does not stifle them. Learning how to establish a positive rapport with your team is something that is very useful for a leader. Leadership development also teach you how to bring out the best in others – coaching and developing talent is an integral part of making a world-class team.
That’s what leadership development is all about in the end – being able to do your best and to be able to get the best out of others.