Leadership training: course content

Depending on the size of the organisation, content for leadership development will be decided in conjunction with senior managers and perhaps a leadership development consultant.

To be worthwhile, content should mesh with organisational goals, perhaps relating to medium-term business strategies, preferred people-management styles or current and short-term economic and financial issues.

The Centre for High Performance Development offers a range of leadership development courses, including: skill development coaching; transitional coaching (to ease the move between roles); career coaching; executive coaching and performance coaching.

A 2008 Duke University survey of 205 senior executives found the four leadership skills identified by respondents as the most important were: promoting an ethical environment; acting with authority; accurately interpreting the competitive environment; and developing trust.

Collectively, these skills or qualities are associated with a leader’s credibility, without which a leader isn’t really one at all.

Most suppliers will give a certificate at the end of the course but often they’re worthless. The Chartered Management Institute will assess internal leadership courses and offer accreditation if they meet its criteria, as will the ILM.

The ILM will also consider accrediting an organisation’s internal training. Beyond accreditation there are university courses and other recognised qualifications that senior management may be encouraged and incentivised to pursue, such as an MBA.

These are expensive: the London Business School charges £53,000 for its Executive MBA. Fees for Manchester Business School’s MBA are £34,000. Living costs are extra.

16 leadership development course content components

Course content will vary according to the level and experience of the delegates, but these are the basic elements you should consider:

  • How to influence others
  • Differences between leadership and management
  • Developing goals
  • Measuring achievement
  • Communication
  • Leadership styles
  • Understanding own leadership style
  • Motivation and morale
  • Team dynamics
  • Performance measurement and management
  • Change management
  • Decision making techniques
  • Engaging staff
  • Succession planning
  • Understanding organisational strategies
  • Coaching
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