FREMONT, CA: Every leader has common leadership challenges, but each leadership level has challenges unique to them. From a follower to leading others and further leading leaders requires enhanced skills and capabilities. Thus, leadership development programs are paramount for organizations. To enhance the talent of the employees, organizations need two things. First, a general development program applicable to all. Second, a tailored and targeted leadership program designed for the participant’s next place and role. Leadership programs must be devised with respect to the current skill and the desired capabilities to the employee to ensure all-round development.
The first step to develop emerging leaders is to identify them and increase their self-awareness, build relational skills with them, and focus on evidence-based leadership skills and develop their skills, which can help them manage others in the future. In an emerging leadership development program, an organization must include aspects such as self-assessment to identify current areas of improvement. After that, assigning them the leadership of a critical functional project to practice increased responsibility and accountability can further enhance their leadership skills.
Experienced leaders have different needs then emerging leaders, and while developing middle managers; their prior experience must be taken into consideration. These mid-level managers need a tailored program that enhances their current skills, their ability to influence others positively, forming effective strategies, leading other leaders, and establishing functional teams. Organizations must expose these managers to external higher-level or senior leaders to improve their skills. They must be trained by solving a complex, real-world business issue with a diverse and cross-functional group.
The upper echelon of the enterprise comprises of leaders that are expected to manage the business as a whole strategically. These leaders do not manage groups of leaders and are expected to act as forward-looking visionaries, driving action through others. Organizations must coach these leaders individually and discuss complex business issues and development goals. Senior leaders must be assessed thoroughly to identify areas of improvement and how they lead. They must also be provided with executive team coaching to increase team cohesion. To develop leadership programs, it’s critical to think about the participants and the purpose of the program from the start.
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