Being an efficient leader takes more than natural talent. Some people think that being a leader is all about giving orders. That is a very incorrect assumption. Being a leader is about taking command and being an inspiration. Issuing orders alone is not going to cut it – the orders have to be correct and logical and they have to be given in a manner that it encourages the work to be done. This is what leadership development is all about.
Leadership development may sound like the latest business buzzword but it’s actually been around a long time. Training people to become good leaders has been part of military training, as seen in the officer candidate programs often found in most modern armies. Creating a good operational hierarchy has always been an effective tool of businesses in the past centuries – this is often assured by training the heirs of the business early. It has only been in the late 20th century when this process of inculcating good leadership skills in management has become widespread and formalized.
So what does this mean for you personally? As an ordinary employee it won’t mean much, however, when you’ve been singled out for promotion or advancement, things will change. Most modern companies have a definite leadership development culture; this is the result of modern techniques in management and leadership.
If you’ve been marked to move up the corporate ladder, you will be exposed to or be asked to attend some learning courses or training programs. This may take the form of a short retreat or maybe a conference. Most companies know that investing a lot of time and money into a potential leader can be very beneficial This is because talent always pays off in the end. Be sure to be take these lessons into mind and be open to them. Future promotions may hinge on them.
Another thing to expect from a company’s leadership development program is added work. It’s like what the old saw says, “The reward to a job well done is more jobs.” This may seem discouraging, but additional work, especially work that is usually outside of your purview, is a blessing in disguise. This enables you to expand your skills and learn a lot more about the working of the company – which is exactly what the company wants. Good leaders are knowledgeable and skilled in various fields; emphasizing on-the-job training for you means you’re on the short list for promotion.
Additional duties are also more important because, most of the time, these jobs usually give you additional responsibilities and authority. Giving prospective leaders a chance to spread their wings and to see them in action is another way for companies to evaluate their employees for possible promotion. Always try to do your best during these occasions – this is usually when you’re under closer scrutiny by management. Flub it and you may see your chances for advancement dwindle.
All of this may sound daunting but this is how corporate culture is developing. Learning from your experiences with leadership development will leave you in better professional shape in the future.