05 Jul The Importance of Training Leadership
Quality leadership character means something a little different to everyone. We all experience people in leadership roles on a daily basis. How these leaders act and treat those who look up to them will significantly impact the outcome of the business or project.
Problems arise when leaders are either (1) improperly placed in a leadership role – some people are not meant to manage – or (2) improperly trained as a manager. An individual could possess all of the necessary qualities of an extraordinary leader, but without an example or training, will likely fail.
In the workplace, managers encounter issues, questions and decisions that other employees may never have considered. An employee may come to you with a problem or be ineffective. Without proper training, a new manager may fail to address the issue properly.
Sometimes companies choose to hire management outside of the company instead of promoting from within. A leader with outside experience can offer a fresh perspective, new ideas and experience as a manager. However, outside management can also come in with preconceived ideas or plans without understanding the company’s culture and his or her team. This knowledge deficit can initially cause employees to not trust a new boss or disengage at work.
Alternatively, promoting an outstanding employee from within brings its own benefits as well as challenges. On the positive side, employees are familiar with this individual, and he/she has likely proven work ethic and dedication to the company. But without deliberate and thoughtful management training and preparation, issues and roadblocks (difficult relationships with former peers, for example) could occur and set a great leadership candidate up for failure.
Leadership development takes many forms, but a few key tenets are paramount for any management training. Even existing managers benefit from a refresher every so often.
So where do you start? In most cases, begin with your team or employees who deal with the manager daily. Seek their guidance. Where do they see room for improvement? Many times, a problem comes down to people:
- feeling that their work goes unnoticed, especially those who go above and beyond.
- being left out of internal communications, such as changes to the workplace and the purpose/strategy behind their work.
- not getting a say or feeling their voice is heard.
Managers have a crucial role as leader/mentor in addition to their daily workload. Setting aside a bit of time to meet with employees about their concerns and experiences makes all the difference between a manager and a leader.
Managers simply work on personal work responsibilities without setting aside time for the leadership portion of their job.
Leaders encourage a culture of positivity and collaboration, and let each employee know expectations and purpose. Leaders listen to the people that work for them and manage conflicts effectively.
Leadership development needs are different for every work environment, so cultivating a program that best suits your company is crucial. Start by asking employees and managers about their wants and expectations, then develop a leadership training and plan based on these combined goals.
According to Warren Bennis, an organizational consultant, scholar and author, “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery.” Strive to develop leadership that does so.