According to ManagementHelp.org, “leadership development is an effort (hopefully, planned in nature) that enhances the learner's capacity to lead oneself, other individuals, groups and organizations.” Leadership development program training provides people in leadership positions with the inspiration, direction and tools to effectively lead themselves and others. The program training should result in highly motivated, able leaders who are proactive and innovative in their leadership ability.
The purpose of leadership development program training is to clearly define the leader’s roles, abilities and action plan on how to accomplish her goals. The intention is to instruct leaders on how to become better agents of change and effective management principles. It is intended to teach leaders how to lead themselves in personal and professional development.
A leadership development program may choose different approaches when it comes to training leaders. Training programs typically use leadership building activities to use hands-on experiences to illustrate team-building and leadership principles. For example, a training program may have the leaders participate in a sports game to teach principles on teamwork, organizational communication and the need for leadership. Other training approaches may include group discussions, lecturing, reading leadership books and accountability groups.
Leadership development programs should always include an action plan that the leaders can use to implement change when they return from the training program. For example, if the training was on effective interpersonal communication, the leaders may be required to write down their interpersonal communication strengths and weaknesses. Next to each weakness the leaders should write a sentence or two describing how they will strengthen that particular weakness. When the leaders return to work, they can intentionally focus on improving those areas.
Effective leadership development programs will result in leaders who have strong people skills, clear direction and the ability to communicate both interpersonally and corporately. These leadership skills will affect the people below the leader providing them with greater purpose, job satisfaction and direction. This will lead a strong internal structure for the organization and a positive corporate culture. It also fosters trustworthiness in the leadership with the followers.
Leadership development cannot be accomplished in one day, but is a continual process where the leader takes personal responsibility to educate, inspire and be proactive with self-education and training. This can be accomplished through attending leadership conferences, reading books on leadership skills and asking for feedback from peers.