The term leadership denotes different meanings to different people. In general, it involves the ability to influence other people usually followers, or subordinates. Therefore, a leader must have some form of authority. To exercise such control is not easy; a person should have certain qualities, such as integrity, empathy, diligence, and ethics. One school of thought states that leaders are born, while another argues that leaders are made (Yeo, 2020). However, no perfect leader is born; leaders have to grow and develop their leadership skills the same way people with inherent abilities, such as musicians and athletes, have to undergo training to be successful.
Leadership development has mainly been effected through training. Life experiences are not seen to contribute much too how leaders develop. Training is an essential exercise in improving their managers’ capabilities. According to a survey of 1,500 learning and development professionals conducted in companies across America, 14 percent of the companies spend between $7,000 to over $10,000 every year to train one person on leadership development (“The Importance of Developing Leadership Skills in an Ever-Changing Workplace,” n.d.). Yeo (2020) states that adding value to business leaders’ trough training and development adds a competitive advantage to the organization.
A successful leader has to go through a flexible system of development and pay attention to essential skills needed to lead others. According to Yeo (2020), there is a need for the leader to have skills such as networking, conceptual, managerial (staffing, budgeting, quality control, planning), interpersonal, and technical ones. These skills enable the leader to identify problems, develop relevant and resourceful solutions to them, intellectualize complex concepts, recognize and effect changes, understand people’s attitudes, motives, and feelings, persuade others and collaborate with them.
Today people and organizations are affected by abrupt and unprecedented events, such as dramatic changes in climate, making present-day leadership even more vital and challenging at the same time. Such circumstances require a leader who is well equipped to cope with these events and must be equipped with new skills and competencies relevant to handle difficult occurring moments. One such competency is the capability to internally analyze personal cognitive processes for example, how the individual looks at problems and solves them and keep on improving through self-learning (Yeo, 2020). The process entails a person’s capacity to cultivate superior intellectual models, change assumptions, learn from slip-ups, and reflect on responding to the current dynamic environment.
Training programs are also crucial in growing and developing leaders. Educators and training professionals can impact leadership skills to an individual. The plans must be designed with specific objectives and conducted consistent with the skills required. However, leaders’ one-off training may not develop them to face the real challenges of exercising authority over their jurisdiction. Leaders in the corporate world can, for example, be acquired through informal activities, including on-the-job exposure or experiential learning. Techniques such as special assignments, job rotation, and action learning are vital. The organization can assign a person to lead a new office as part of development.
Alternatively, several highly-able leaders are clustered together and given a compulsory subject (such as experimenting with a new business model or entering a new market) to work on and make recommendations. Such exercises will provide a practical understanding of how to deal with major tactical snags. Yeo (2020) states that the usefulness of training programs and experiential learning is hinged on how the organization facilitates or impedes learning of leadership skills and how they are applied. Therefore, growing and developing leaders requires adequate organizational support through training and self-learning opportunities.
The importance of developing leadership skills in an ever-changing workplace. (n.d). 2020. Web.
Yeo, C.C., (2020). Developing leaders: What are the benefits and how to do it. Web.