Forward thinking, innovative companies can use various strategies to help ensure this doesn’t happen. One growing approach is incorporating outside leadership training and external peer groups to help leaders throughout the organization reach their full potential.
Here is a quick overview of the top benefits of leadership training and what they can do for both growing and established companies.
4 Benefits of Leadership Training
1. Expands Collective Knowledge
When companies encourage current and aspiring leaders to pursue relevant professional training and consult with external peer groups, they can grow the collective knowledge of their team.
For the most senior leaders, ideas and management concepts learned in CEO peer groups can be shared with the rest of the company’s leadership team. This cross-pollination improves expertise and drives innovation, not just for CEOs themselves, but across business processes in multiple areas of their business. In doing so, individuals become trained experts. Employees can cross over to other departments to find solutions or seek advice from industry leaders, while the company can use this vast knowledge base to gain the position of market authority.
2. Creates a Cycle of High Performance
A recent survey by Execu|Search found that only half of the executives surveyed believe their leadership skills are developing at their company. What many businesses fail to realize is that empowering leaders through further skill development improves their performance and enhances productivity throughout the entire company.
Another way leadership development improves productivity among teams is by creating a cycle of consistently high performance and accountability. This cycle starts when the employee feels responsible for incorporating what they have learned into day-to-day operations to streamline processes and increase performance across the company.
Then, aspiring leaders roll up their sleeves and increase their individual contributions and output. They feel responsible for offsetting the investment allocated for their personal career development. This is a signal to the company that they deserve even more leadership opportunities. Ultimately their external and internal drive closes the loop of the performance cycle so that both the leader and the company thrive. When an organization shows commitment to its aspiring leaders, that commitment is often paid back (and with interest)..
3. Attracts Emerging Talent
When companies offer opportunities for professional advancement, employees understand that the organization is serious about investing resources in positive growth and developing quality talent. For example, companies that provide tuition reimbursement, cover the costs of certification courses, or enroll employees in leadership networks are more attractive to talented professionals and high-potential employees. This helps companies to build for the future, as aspiring leaders are more likely to stay at a company that invests in their careers.
Over time, these high-potential leaders will learn more and more from senior management and leadership development programs, which maximizes the human resources at the company. Leadership development provides organizations with enough assets to create and execute a plan for seamless succession and increases their ability to expand and grow.
4. Higher Engagement and Satisfaction
Career development opportunities create a nurturing environment for employees. When companies help their leaders reach their potential, these professionals become self-actualized and more confident. These high-potential employees become the backbone of a company’s growth efforts by filling out the ranks of its succession pipeline.
Leaders whose goals and values are aligned with and supported by their company are more satisfied with their jobs and more motivated to increase their efficiency. In the process, they build successful, high-performing teams that help to further organizational objectives and formulate innovative solutions to key business challenges. Good leaders understand the value of cultivating talent, which drives them to serve as mentors and create development opportunities for the rest of the staff. Mentorship is an excellent opportunity for leaders to leverage their existing experience and newly acquired leadership skills to develop new talent at the company.
Senior leaders can benefit from this trend as well. Encouraging CEOs to join leadership networks and peer groups can have a tremendously positive downstream impact in terms of engagement and job satisfaction. A CEO receiving guidance from a peer group can bring the strategies they’ve learned in-house to accelerate learning within the organization and promote a culture of growth and support.
Building strong and capable leaders is a difficult task for any organization. While there are certainly some innate characteristics that prove beneficial in a leadership position, the fact remains that most successful leaders are made, not born. Organizations that neglect training and development in favor of endlessly searching for the ideal leadership candidate will not only be disappointed by the results, but will also lose out on the high-potential leaders already in their midst. Learning and development is a career-long endeavor for top-performing leaders, which is why even established CEOs should never stop working to refine and expand their skills.
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A lifelong serial entrepreneur and community leader, Mark Stagen, Founder of XLN, started his first company at age 15 and hasn't looked back. Since then, he’s founded, and later sold, several successful companies, including Telecore and Emerald Health Services, which have generated over $1 billion in combined revenues. Mark also founded the Youth Business Alliance, a non-profit organization that works with High Schools in economically challenged areas to educate, motivate and inspire the students on business, entrepreneurship and career development.
Mark has received numerous business and community awards including: EY Entrepreneur of the Year and Inc. 500. He is actively involved in YPO and has served in many leadership roles including Chapter Chair and Regional Chair. Mark received his BA in three years from Yale University, was a member of the Yale Football Team and is an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business.