Leadership training programs can help boost your leadership skills to the next level. But just what are leadership training programs and what makes the best leadership skills training? IMD, one of the top business schools in the world, answers a few FAQs.
1. What are leadership training programs?
Leadership training programs are short-term programs intended to help you refresh and build on your existing leadership skills in order to increase your leadership capacity in your current job – and in your next job.
2. Are all leadership training programs created equal?
No, definitely not. Leadership training programs are only as good as those who develop them and those who teach them.
The best place to start looking for the best leadership training programs is among those schools and organizations that consistently come out top in independent business school rankings. IMD business school, for example, is consistently ranked at the top by reliable sources such as the Financial Times executive education rankings. Behind these rankings is the strength of IMD’s vision: to develop leaders, transform organizations and create immediate and long-term positive impact. This driving force ensures that all leadership training programs at IMD are exceptional, innovative, and focused on the real world.
3. Isn’t on-the-job learning enough?
On-the-job learning is absolutely necessary, but not enough if you really want to be a truly effective leader throughout your career. For example, without external leadership training it’s easy to get stuck in ruts and routines - especially if you stay within the same field or the same company. This can hold you back from reaching your true potential. What’s more, if you get a promotion or change to another job you may not have the skills and/or confidence to hit the ground running and to lead authoritatively. Leadership training programs are one excellent way to get this kind of leadership skills boost.
4. How can I find the best leadership training programs?
This is an important question. Throughout the journey of your career, you’ll benefit from different leadership training programs at different times. To ensure the best results, it is critical to choose leadership training focused on people like you and the kind of step change you need at this point in your career.
For example, if you have at least eight years of experience in a managerial or specialist role, you may be itching to move to the next level. The best leadership training programs for this career stage explore the essence of leadership and how to motivate teams and lead with impact to meet business goals.
5. What are the keys to lasting impact?
The short answer is that a good executive leadership program helps you understand your leadership style, develop and practice it, and then support you to apply your transformation in your real world. Some of the elements you should look for include:
Look for a leadership training program that allows you to examine your leadership style and effectiveness in a safe and supportive environment, with the benefit of honest and impartial feedback. Leadership exercises and professional leadership coaching are useful tools for understanding your leadership goals, recognizing your leadership traits, experimenting with your leadership role, becoming aware of what’s going on within you and around you, and identifying the right steps towards improvement.
While a solid base of general leadership concepts and frameworks is necessary, leadership training programs have far greater lasting effects when they are relevant to the specific situations of participants. So you should particularly look for a leadership development program whose agenda includes addressing issues brought by the participants directly, such as building the capacity to lead complex change or making life transitions.
6. But how can I be sure it will work?
Check out what past participants have to say – they know best what the real impact is! At the very least, participants should report significant improvements in their overall effectiveness at motivating teams and new confidence to face professional and personal challenges. This kind of feedback on real results is your best help when selecting leadership training programs.