Leadership development program: Top 6 tips for selecting the best leadership development program for you

A leadership development program can take you to the next level as a leader. But with so many available, how do you choose the right one?

Here are 6 top tips from IMD business school, based on our highly successful leadership development program Mobilizing People (MP).

 1. Start with a good business school

Type “leadership development program” into a search engine and you’ll get millions of results - quite literally! The best way to cut through the clutter is to focus on the top business schools in the world. IMD, for example, is ranked first in executive education outside the US (Financial Times 2017) and first in open worldwide (Financial Times 2017) – you can’t get much better than that!

2. Focus on human behavior – and your own!

To be a good leader, you need a thorough understanding of yourself and the dynamics of human behavior in different situations. This is why Mobilizing People is built on self-awareness and the principle that “change begins with me”. By helping you to become more aware of what is going on around you - and helping you to better understand your own responses - this leadership development program enables you to go forward and drive change.

3. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Sure, you might think you’re a good leader – but who of your team would dare tell you otherwise? A good executive leadership program should provide honest and impartial feedback about your leadership style and effectiveness in a safe and supportive environment.

Mobilizing People does this through a team of highly professional executive coaches who work with you individually and in small groups. This integrated leadership coaching helps you make sense of the different aspects of your leadership, challenges you to explore who you want to be as a leader - and supports you to make it happen.

4. Leadership in your context

General leadership concepts and frameworks are essential, but can only take you so far. After all, each individual has their own unique situation and background that influence the leadership issues they face. A good leadership development program should take this into account.

This is why each session of Mobilizing People takes issues directly from the participants to ensure the most relevant leadership training. Issues that participants have worked on include: understanding group behavior; building the capacity to lead complex change; and making life transitions.

 5. Practice, practice, practice

Theory is a necessary part of all leadership training programs, but the best ones deepen the learning and understanding through hands-on experience. During Mobilizing People, you have the opportunity to practice leadership with small and large teams and to experiment with your role as a leader.

6. There for the long run

A good leadership development program will leave you energized and refreshed - full of a deeper understanding of yourself and bursting with new ideas to make a step change in your leadership. Too often though, the positive outcomes evaporate in the face of daily office work, demands or politics.

At IMD, we see Mobilizing People as a short journey in the larger journey of your life. Beyond the 9 days attending the program, your relationship with your learning team could continue for many years. Two individualized follow-up coaching sessions are included to help consolidate the program's key learnings, and additional coaching sessions can be arranged. This long-term support means a sustained impact on your leadership performance.

Mobilizing People- a quality leadership development program

How can we be so sure this is the right approach? Well, past participants in Mobilizing People consistently report significant improvements in their overall effectiveness at motivating teams. They are working smarter and making the right choices for the right reasons. A heightened level of self-awareness, focus and passion give them new confidence in the face of the many challenges of their personal and professional lives. In short, they are stronger, more confident, more dynamic and more flexible leaders. And that is exactly what you should expect from a quality leadership development program.