Leadership Development for the Next Generation

With over 70,000 booksand videos based on leadership development, the market for this topic ismassive, at more than $14 billion!

When asked what is themost difficult challenge for a business leader, the top response was improvingthe methods of leadership. In 2018, the Global Leadership Forecast stated thatjust 14% of executives felt they had a strong group of leaders, while 66% feelthat a new model of leadership is necessary. The development of the nextgeneration of leaders was a huge obstacle for 64% of executives.

But why has thisbecome such a challenge? The straightforward answer is that we are now in needof a new type of leader. Businesses are becoming more vigorous than in the pastand regardless of the role, employers are pushed into leadership roles.

Most of us are used tothe traditional leader who thrives on power and has gained their level due toexperience. Modern leadership models have shifted to a focus on results-driventhrough influence within inclusive teams. Leaders stay in close contact withtheir clients and are used to environments that change and face constantinterruptions.

We can’t abandon thehunt for potential business leaders and we must ensure that there is a channelfor each key role. But, instead of producing factory line leader machines, weneed to carry out our leadership development with more agility.

The art of leading isnot something that is acquired overnight. It is developed by combining amixture of aspects including experience. The ‘4 E’s’ are an excellent guidethat will ease the path in a strategic manner.

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Exposure
  • Evaluation

Education- Undeniable important and everyone involved in a business needs a levelof education regarding the fundamentals of business, how to set goals, theproduct or service information, how the business operates and how to managework and projects. Leaders also need to understand people and the best ways inwhich to communicate with a variety of personalities.

Experience- Leadership can be learned from a book or videos, but the only real wayto learn how to be a good leader is to start leading. The functional roles andtechnical skills we need to practice will develop over time and withopportunities. You can’t expect someone to improve their skills without lettingthem lead a project, program, or team.

Exposure- How many times have we heard the leadership mantras “see one, do one, teach one” or “now that you’ve been shown, you can practice on your own”. They exist for a reason. Letting potential leaders watch from the best will allow them to incorporate leadership learning with their own knowledge and skills. This involves watching the good and the bad, networking with other leaders and taking on feedback.

Evaluation- Another saying that is often repeated “the curse of expertise”. Thisimplies that once we reach where we want to be, we stop trying to improve. No matterwhat stage we are at, we still need training, feedback, and evaluation in orderto grow. Don’t just wait for feedback, as a leader or business owner, take sometime to self-reflect on your learning and progress.

It is easy to findfresh graduates who are educated in business leadership, but if you are lookingbeyond the first E, it starts getting tricky, yet this challenge can also beexciting.

Let’s take a look atfour of the latest solutions that are changing the way leaders are developed.

Applying Artificial Intelligence and positivepsychology to training

The idea of positivecoaching began as one of the most valuable tools in leadership development andone company took this to the next level and created an AU-driven solution. Aperson is able to self-assess their coaching needs and then identify a suitablecoach from a large network. This AI solution carries out and moderates onlineor phone-based training sessions. There are no restrictions on who can buy intothe network. Leaders at any level are able to set up coaching relationshipswith experienced coaches suited to the needs of the leader or company. You willalso find micro-learning, nudges, and assessment tools to encourage leaders tolearn and improve.

Immersive learning

Virtual learning isthe fastest-growing category of new solutions for leadership development and ismore aimed at soft-skills. Leaders are given the possibility to learn fromreal-life management simulations. It’s the perfect way to be able to practicedifficult to handle situations and how to avoid mistakes. It gives people thechance to feel the pressure of leadership and the results of decisions made inthe heat of the moment.

Action platforms for performance management

This solution providesagile goal-setting and performance management tools and is designed toencourage employee action. While employees and managers can set targets, shareprogress and results, and assess the levels of performance, there is also anAI-based assessment tool that allows employees to provide evaluations andfeedback on their managers. It may not come across as leadership development,but it certainly an excellent way for leaders to learn more about theirperformance.

Self-directed learning

The list of options inthis category is endless, and with so many to choose from, it’s probably bestfor the individual to select the right self-directed learning method.

So, you have decidedto renovate your leadership development approach, but don’t just start makingsudden changes and shocking your whole team. Discuss the options with otherleaders and decide what principles you want to emphasis. Explain that it is apositive change and that regardless of the position, everyone will be able to learnand improve. Remember that the best way to integrate a new leadershipdevelopment program is to start from the top, so be prepared to acceptconstructive criticism in order to improve your leadership skills.