Dependable management and leadership are essential for delivering an organization’s products and services. While these two roles are closely aligned, they differ in required focus, skills, and behaviors. Leadership involves creating vision and strategy; management is more focused on getting the right work done through the right people. However, good managers need to be effective leaders, and effective leaders need solid management skills.
Managers and leaders of organizations—large and small—must develop and continuously hone a robust skill set. They must be competent with soft skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, as well as professional skills such as business intelligence and finance. They must possess excellent communication skills such as public speaking and writing, along with project management skills such as time management, planning, and delegating.
Managing and leading require the resilience and agility to quickly adjust priorities and discover opportunities as an organization’s needs change. Training programs and educational opportunities must address these wide and varying needs to help managers and leaders achieve their business goals through people-focused solutions.
6. Nimble Leadership. Organized managers must also be the most flexible, especially when needing to adapt to the changing demands of their employees and customers. In this way, they can rise to greet new challenges and opportunities as they come.
There are a multitude of off-the-shelf leadership and management training programs and courses from a variety of sources for organizations to pick up and try to fit their unique culture and needs. Here’s why these might not always be the best choice.
Several factors drive the success of management and leadership training.
Relevant and immediately applicable learning activities based on real projects that, when complete, will have a tangible impact on business results.
Effective training provides an engaging and interactive experience in which learners explore and practice skills and behaviors.
Training that aligns with the culture, values, and strategies of the organization, and its application must be supported and reinforced by the highest levels of management.
These programs should help learners understand their motivational drivers, emotional intelligence, and preferred communication methods. Leadership training programs should also encourage learners to take charge of their professional development and provide ample opportunities to do so.
Address the whole-person learner.
This can be done through an inside-out process, beginning with the managers’ and leaders’ understanding of self—their values, philosophy, style, strengths. It can then take an outward focus on the skills and behaviors needed for effective 1:1 interactions with individuals and the how-tos of building a high-performing team. The organization’s commitment to providing for the continuation and growth of managers and leaders rounds out the development process.