Leadership Development is any thing that we do in a planned and repetitive practice to build or develop leadership skills and traits. The overall purpose is to improve the quality of leadership and enhance leadership effectiveness. This includes formal training at the graduate or undergraduate level, specific programs developed by organizations, courses implemented in corporate environments or military and law enforcement training.
These programs are designed to focus on those qualities in an individual or team that are proven to reflect strong leadership. Courses like this will help you learn how to be confident, build and hone other leadership skills in an effort to make you a more effective and efficient leader.
Many qualities in an individual lend themselves well toward good leadership. Some people are born with strong leadership traits and skills that make them natural born leaders but time and testing has discovered that most leadership skills can be learned and developed in anyone who is willing to take the time and make the effort to learn and practice.
As usual, the first step in developing any learned skill is education. Once we know and fully understand what makes a competent leader, it makes the process that much easier. There is a wide variety of study courses designed to help us do this. The most important part of developing strong leadership however, is dependent upon the action we take and effort that is put toward putting this knowledge into practice. Knowing and doing are two widely different things. Developing true leadership requires sustained action until the techniques become habit.
How successful an individual can become in leadership roles is dependent upon those persons learning abilities, the teacher or source of the information and the environment that the student will learn and practice the techniques. The rate at which one can become effectively trained as a leader will also depend on many of the individuals existing skills and behavioral attributes. Some of the more prominent traits that lend themselves well to leadership learning are self-confidence (not to be confused with arrogance,) self esteem (not to be confused with conceit,) communication skills, positive attitude and self-discipline.
The most effective leadership programs will be the ones that focus on sustained efforts over a long period and a broad scope of developmental training. They will focus on applied learning through taking action and actually practicing and monitoring the growth in real world scenarios. Since leadership deals primarily with your effectiveness in working with real people and real situations, confining your learning to classroom can only produce limited results.
Good leadership training will allow the individual to put his or her skills to test in real environments where leadership is truly needed and beneficial. Situations that work best are ones that require a leader to rely on communication, taking responsibilities, developing effective plans to reach specific goals, taking action, providing motivation and achieving real world results.
Sometimes the best training is simply filling the role and applying a proactive approach to learning and applying the best practices. It is up to you to acquire the training or practice that you need to develop yourself into a great leader. Learn everything that you can and practice what you learn often.
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