Technology and globalization have brought new and profound challenges never before seen in the corporate world. Companies built through decades of strong market domination crumble in just a matter of months, or weeks even. Emerging issues in politics and religion, disparities in population trends, even destructive weather patterns that are increasingly unpredictable – all these have a huge impact on corporations across the world, regardless of their core competency. The challenges are complex and daunting but one singular idea is fast gaining ground – leadership development is a secure solution to ensure company survival.
Management Versus Leadership
Many people often make the mistake of equating management with leadership when, in fact, these are two completely different concepts. Management is a function of processes and systems and how well they are used to maintain quality or achieve tangible targets. Leadership, on the other hand, is management and so much more.
A manager is defined by his authority vis-à-vis those above and below him in the whole corporate hierarchy. A leader is defined by his relationship to a group of individuals who willingly submit themselves to be his followers. Management depends on acquired skills but leadership relies on more abstract qualities such as behavior, trust, and inspiration. This makes leadership development about more than teaching market theories or communication skills.
Some people seem to be born more charismatic than others and are thus theoretically predisposed to leadership but this is not necessarily true. Leadership is much more than charisma, it is the ability to rise up to challenge. Regular people have been seen to rise from the ranks to emerge into a formidable leader. This continually happens regardless of educational background, gender, age or type of business but one thing is common among them – an unmistakable motivation and single-mindedness to bring their team towards a goal.
But can leadership skills be acquired just as management skills can be acquired? With the right specialized leadership development yes, it is possible to teach leadership skills including:
1. Listening. A good leader gains loyal following because he is perceived to understand the concerns of his teammates as well as their goals. Listening is tuning in and being keenly observant of the dynamics within and outside of the workplace.
2. Strategic Planning. Successful leaders know how to anticipate issues even before they arise and are able to maximize the company’s resources to resolve them. Leadership development centers on enhancing critical thinking beyond traditional management theories and practices.
3. Team Building. A good leader builds the company’s strength around its human resources. She does not take credit for successes but acknowledges that any achievement is always a result of a cohesive organization.
4. Management and Communication. Needless to say, a good leader must be well-informed about the company’s vision, objectives, and procedures to ably steer the team in the right direction. He should also effectively communicate these down and across the line so that everyone understands and works together.
5. Adaptation. The current corporate world is so dynamic it is easy to get lost in the complexities of issues and challenges. Sticking to traditional solutions will guarantee failure so an effective leader must be flexible and adaptable. She must be able to think out-of-the-box and turn difficulties into opportunities.
Leadership development requires specialized training to help future leaders realize their potentials. Professional development companies offer leadership training workshops to businesses who want to create a pool of leaders within their ranks. With the company’s survival at stake, it is important to match the challenge of the times with good leaders who can help you achieve your company’s overall goals.
Rob Jackson is President of Magnovo Training Group, a soft-skills training company focusing on corporate team building, classroom training and leadership development. Rob has been a speaker and trainer for over 20 years specializing in effective leadership, personality profiles, relational sales training, executive presence and team building. He has served as President and Chairman on several Executive Leadership boards. In addition to being a Certified DiSC Trainer, Rob has logged hundreds of instructional classroom hours. For more information please visit http://www.magnovo.com.
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