You don't have to be a CEO or a business owner to develop your leadership skills or focus on your professional development. In fact, you don't even need to be in any type of formal leadership position. The truth is, we all have the potential to be leaders in our circles -- whether that be our friend groups, communities, organizations we are part of, or our place of work. Leadership and professional development is something that everyone can benefit from, but especially if you are someone who manages projects or teams (or want to in the future).
High-performing teams have long been valued, but those type of teams are led by positive, empowering, and inspiring leaders. Of those leaders, some have strong natural leadership abilities, but all of them have taken the time to invest in their leadership and professional development. That is something they all have in common. So, whether you are already in a leadership position, or you just have a willingness to continue growing in that role, leadership and development courses can help get you there.
The Value of Leadership and Professional Development
In every industry and in every role, leadership skills are a valuable asset. Successful leaders aren't created overnight. They put the work in to grow their leadership and professional qualities. They learn how to manage their time, invest in people, communicate effectively, mitigate conflict, and how to earn respect through their leadership.
But why is great leadership important? Well, there are a few reasons, but the main ones for companies is that great leaders inspire the best work from employees and team members, which often results in greater employee retention, improved productivity and efficiency within teams, and a better bottom line.
Through formal leadership development training, you'll learn how to mentor others and learn how to do your best work with teams or individually. You'll gain valuable project management, communication, and strategic thinking skills that'll help you for years to come. It can also help you identify your strengths and weakness, where you can improve and where you can grow. The more you focus on growing these skills, the more you can position and establish yourself as a leader that others can look to for insightful analysis and objective advice.
Leadership Learning In Every Stage of Your Career
Maybe you already see yourself as a leader, but ask yourself this question, "Where can I be improving?" You see, a leader is always looking to learn and to improve. Leadership isn't a destination, it's a lifelong journey of learning.
Your Early Career: Learning Beyond Technical Skills
In the beginning stages of your career, you'll find that it's typically acceptable to start out with your technical skills as your primary strength. But the further you get into your career, you'll find that technical skills aren't the only thing that matters if you want to be in a position of authority. You have to show that you continue to invest in your soft skills, such as decision-making and communication, as well as your operational skills, including the production of high-quality work and the ability to hit deadlines on time. Then you have to show that you've improved beyond that and have the ability to lead people well while still being a high producer.
Mid-Career: Leadership Cultivation
When you fall more in the mid-career category, that's a great time to develop better management of your projects and learning how to coach others on your team. It's a great season to cultivate your leadership skills even further and learn to lead an effective team. You'll want to continue to focus on your communication skills while inspiring others and helping them grow professionally as well.
Learning project management skills are essential mid-career, as you'll learn to manage projects while managing people so that you can build teams that are able to move any project forward.
Late-Career: Leadership Development
As senior management, you now need to have the skills to recognize when it's time to introduce changes and adopt new processes within your organization to promote continued growth. This is the point at which you need to do a deep dive into skill sets that can improve your company's overall health and performance, not just leading your teams. Continuous improvement and making impactful decisions for your organization as a whole will go a long way.
Some of the leadership skills that you'll see developed at this stage include:
- analyzing financial health
- interpreting industry data sets
- and the skills needed to know when to make tough decisions that affect the entire company.
Tips to Remember at Every Point of Your Career
No matter what point you are at in your career, here are a few timeless tips to help you build better relationships with your teams and to foster a more productive workplace.
- Understand your personal leadership style and where it can be improved for the season you're in.
- Practice active listening and communicate clearly across your organization.
- Don't just be a manager- be a mentor and role model.
- Encourage and reward creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
- Empower your team to go above and beyond by being a transformational leader.
- Embrace and recognize your failure constructively.
Are you ready to invest in your leadership and professional development? Our leadership training program is designed for current and future leaders and managers. We cover topics including:
- Leadership for the individual
- Leadership for the team
- Managing processes and people
- Leadership for the organization
All courses are half-day workshops and include instructors from a variety of fields, including government, Fortune 500, international companies, and small businesses.