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What Does Leadership Development Done Right Look Like?

What does “leadership development done right” really mean? Here are characteristics of successful leadership programs to get you on track:

  • Make it more than a workshop or a one-and-done process. Done right, it is a journey of learnings that helps leaders grow continuously over time. It’s a mix of both macro and micro learning to build skills and engage your leaders.
  • Meet leaders during their time of need. Your program needs to be relevant and answer the challenges that your leaders have right now. Why? Leadership development is most effective when people get the right development at the right moment. Whether they are having a tough conversation with a team member or changing roles, leaders need development to help them face what they’re dealing with in the moment.
  • Set it up to work the way your people work. With many people working remotely or hybrid, your leadership development programs should be set up to use the virtual classroom. And remember: The virtual classroom is not a webinar; it offers all the experiences of an in-person classroom, without physical handshakes and travel costs.
  • Consider how your leaders like to learn. Give your leaders their development in the training types they want most. What’s clear is that leaders prefer a blend of modalities, including a mix of classroom learning with self-directed options and development assignments.
  • Prove its impact. During the planning phases of your program, consider how you will measure the impact of your leadership development program and prove return on investment (ROI).
  • Allow time for practice. An effective leadership program goes beyond theory. Ensure there is plenty of time for skills practice in a safe space with peers and on the job.
  • Personalize it. Give leaders access to self-insight tools such as assessments, so they can identify strengths and gaps. Then allow them to pick development resources that match where they need to improve.

Benefits of Leadership Development Done Right
The most important goal of leadership development is to change behavior. Leaders must identify their deficits and derailers. They must do things differently and develop new skills. When behaviors change, business benefits emerge. Valuable outcomes such as increasing revenue, changing culture, or leading transformation start with leaders who have the skills to take the right actions.

Companies that invest in their leaders can expect to become more competitive, better able to attract and retain talent, and more likely to have long-term success.

Leadership Development Is Life-Changing
Leadership development done right is impactful for organizations, but it can also be life-changing at the individual level.

We’ve heard countless stories from clients and associates over the years about how becoming a better leader has changed lives. At a recent industry conference, an attendee shared what they learned about core skills during leadership training 15 years ago. The attendee recited the five most important principles from that training and how they still use them regularly during interactions with friends, family, and colleagues. They said these skills made leadership—and life—easier.

Learn more about the benefits of leadership development done right by reading DDI’s blog.

1 Comment
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Love that the first bullet point addresses the need for a continuous learning solution to tap into success. It's easy to fall into the trap that a single training event will solve a problem....for change to stick, the presence of a culture of learning and continual growth is required for new habits to form.
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