Since prehistoric times, humans have always grouped themselves under the leadership of powerful figures. Our ancestors would listen to the counsel of tribal elders and wage wars against rival tribes under the command of their chieftains. In today’s world, we still look up to leaders in every facet of our lives, be they heads of state, religious leaders, captains of business, basketball coaches, etc.
People instinctively flock to charismatic individuals who display the confidence and capability to lead everyone to a common goal. Leaders therefore face a high level of accountability. Governments, organizations and creative endeavors have risen and fallen on the choices, calculations and whims of their respective leaders.
There have been numerous studies on the successes and failures of past and current leaders. What can be surmised is that effective leadership can best be described as an elaborate cocktail of good moral character, intelligence, creativity, moderation, and continuous learning. In addition, there are several other factors that aspiring leaders need to develop to help them accomplish their objectives successfully.
Leadership development has been linked to several variables: individual leadership characteristics, the quality of a leadership development program, effective mentoring, and the genuine support for behavioral change from a potential leader’s superior. Moreover, classroom style training and individual reading is effective in helping leaders grow in their abilities.
People who wish to explore their leadership potential or those already in leadership positions can take advantage of the various leadership training workshops being offered by business schools and various consulting firms. They should focus on cultivating such traits such as a strong motivation to learn, a high drive for achievement, openness to experiencing new stimuli, internal focus, self-control, as well as the ability to analyze one’s actions objectively and free from the distortions of emotion.
While many leadership training workshops and management training seminars provide good programs that last less than a day to several weeks or more, the best development workshops are set over a longer period of time. This helps participants review their development material more thoroughly as well as monitor their progress and growth at a more realistic pace.
Management training seminars should also offer constructive feedback from mentors and other participants, which can aid in self-reflection. Courses should also cover key leadership strategies such as goal setting, the ability to delegate responsibilities and tasks, and effective management.
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