In more than three decades, I have discovered that one of the greatest reasons for downturns and downfalls of organizations is their inability to effectively train their leadership. Many of these organizations actually have programs that they refer to as leadership training, while others do not.
Far too often, organizations call their informational or orientation programs leadership training. Since many leaders, as well as many paid staffs are improperly, or not fully trained, self improvement leadership training is often difficult, and even the importance of the concept is often overlooked. Whether it is because of the egos of some of the individuals who ascend to leadership, yet possess few of the important leadership skills, or because of “cluelessness,” those organizations that do not address leadership development head on, often fail to make necessary evolutionary changes.
Organizations and their popularity are often cyclical in nature. Reasons such as economics are certainly one reason, yet, even when economies are down, some organizations fare far better than others. Those organizations whose leaders exhibit a vision for the future, understand planning, creating an action plan, and understand how to make a decision in an organized manner, are the most successful. I have observed countless organizations that spend far too much time on unimportant and trivial issues, while often either ignoring or procrastinating when it comes to issues related to what should be understood as the “big picture.”
Leadership training must begin at the earliest stage of identifying potential future leaders, qualifying them, and nurturing them. It must be an ongoing process that continues through lower tier leadership positions, then to intermediate, and then continues through elite leadership positions. All leaders need constant leadership refreshing, and need to learn how to self- evaluate.
Conducting an effective leadership workshop can be a real challenge for a variety of reasons. Often, leaders attending the workshop are pre-occupied with issues that are hot at the office. Sometimes, self improvement have an “attitude” about the need for any training at all. They might feel like they already know what to do. As with all adult learning experiences, they must not only be educational, but also engaging.
There are a variety of games that can be used to teach a point about teamwork, organizational skills, and communications. They can be found in a variety of workbooks or found on websites by searching the internet. The important point is that there must be a lesson that can be associated with the game. Simply playing games may be entertaining, but it will be a wasted opportunity to engage leaders unless there is a “teachable moment.”
Many leadership workshops include some type of assessment that participants take before they arrive. The workshop is an opportunity to discuss the results and how they can be applied. The self improvement participants might then be given an opportunity to reflect upon the discussion and their personal results so that they can have an action plan when they get back to the office.
The key to effective leadership workshops is to make sure that they are really “workshops.” They must be engaging and require active participation or “work” by the attendees. If they are simply lectures, then they will not be nearly as effective. Adult learners generally prefer activities which have a teachable moment or an “ah-ha” outcome. It is through the self-discovery process when lessons are learned in a way that they become more memorable. Memorable lessons are more likely to be applied, and application of the learning is the best test of a successful workshop. Structure your next workshop around one of these action learning ideas. For More Information Visit http://www.newagethinker.com.
I am Mohan read mathematics at Stanford and remained there for his MS. From 1998-1999 on researched in Evolution and in Animal Behavior in Camrbidge, UK. I was was then a professor in the departments of Anthropology and Biology, New Jersy College, USA. Now teaches at the department of Zoology. Carried out research in several areas of evolutionary biology, particularly in sexual selection and the comparative method.
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