leadership development

What Should You Look For In Leadership Development Courses?

17 June, 2021

The recently released “Global Corporate Leadership Training Market 2021-2025” report says the market is expected to grow by $ 15.78 billion during that time. It attributes that to growing awareness about the impact of good leadership on an organisation’s financial health. Globally most people have already left their comfort zone, which means you and your team are already having your perspectives challenged daily.  Finding an executive education provider with a track record, which will work with you, your managers, board, executive team and colleagues, will lift your leadership to a whole new level. So, how do you find the right leadership development course?

You’ve pivoted, innovated and gotten into the groove of working from home – at least some of the time. Important things like professional development can’t, and shouldn’t, be on hold any longer.

“The need for leadership development has never been more urgent. Companies of all sorts realize that to survive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, they need leadership skills and organizational capabilities different from those that helped them succeed in the past.….” 

The Future of Leadership Harvard Business Review.

Executive education can be a significant investment of time and money so you need to find the right course. What should you be considering when making your choice?

  • Identify your strengths, and the specific issues of your team, your organisation, and your industry sector. Be clear about what you want from a leadership program. Are you wanting to examine, test and consolidate your own leadership capacity? Or are you wanting your team to be able to clarify the principles and values which should inform their vision and underpin the process of future planning? Once you’re clear on the why, you can start looking for the what.
  • One of the first questions to ask is – will it make you uncomfortable? While this may seem counter-intuitive, as discomfort is usually something we seek to ameliorate rather than embrace, it’s what determines the impact of the course – significant and lasting, or a light touch experience almost immediately forgotten. A transformative leadership course should be immersive. It should be a deep dive into your own leadership capacity, and allow you to evaluate your own operating framework with clear eyes.

Too many leadership development interventions suffer from insufficient discomfort. When asked ‘how often in this process did you feel stretched out of your comfort zone’, the average response should be around 80%.

Anthony Mitchell, Inside HR
  • What will it achieve? Will it fundamentally transform your leadership capacity? To really have an impact the course will need to change the way you respond to not just the challenges of your work life, but your approach to the systems and assumptions which underpin your role and your organisation.
  • How many participants will there be? Is the course rolled out to a cast of thousands online, or a huge room of participants? Look for courses which allow you the time and attention to really explore the issues relevant to you. Phil Lewis, strategist and business leader, says that, “at a senior level this matters, for two reasons. The first is that the nature of the challenges that many leaders experience can require sensitive exploration with your chosen sources of support as part of the development process. A one-size-fits-all approach creates the risk of you not getting the value you were seeking. The second is that strategy has an uncomfortable habit of dying on contact with reality. Any good leadership development experience will allow leaders the capacity to probe for themselves how to avoid this happening, with specialist support on offer throughout the journey.”
  • Is it taught by practitioners? What’s the experience the presenters and moderators bring to the table? Do they have an understanding of the realities of your sector, whether that’s commercial enterprise or public sector?

For leaders looking to create real-world change, practitioner-led development has the edge. It is here, at the intersection of education and experience, where real impact is made.

Phil Lewis, founder Corporate Punk

With all of the above in mind, as you consider the range of leadership development programs on offer, be realistic about how prepared you are to do what it takes to achieve impact. Are you willing to invest time, take risks, and step away from the distractions of the job? Find the right course, match your commitment to the outcomes you’re after, and become the leader the future needs.

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership has spent nearly 30 years honing its programs. Thousands of senior leaders across business, community and government have benefited from the rigorous programs, which foster in-depth, practical discussions that sharpen critical reasoning and strengthen moral courage. We know what works, we work with moderators who bring their own extensive professional experience to the conversation, we draw on over two thousand years of critical thinking, and our network of extraordinary alumni are testament to the programs’ impact. Cranlana’s programs include the 2 day Executive Ethics, 6 day Executive Colloquium and year-long Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. We also deliver online and tailored corporate programs. 

Photo by Rohit Tandon on Unsplash