Despite what many people believe, leadership can be taught. Often, supervisors or managers are promoted to those positions because they were stellar individual contributors, but they may not be equipped with proper leadership skills. Help turn your organization’s managers into exceptional leaders with these leadership training topics.
Planning & Strategy
While it might sound contradictory, the best planning allows the greatest flexibility. No plan survives contact with reality — be it time pressures, budgets, competitors, or changing conditions. Planning for all contingencies establishes the competitive edge. Communication and planning go hand in hand. A strategy is only as good as the leader’s ability to communicate it to the team, and to receive information from the team as to whether or not things are going according to plan.
Another important leadership training topic is communication. Good communication as a leader is about setting a tone of openness, trust, clarity, respect, and dignity. This tone – and the leader modeling the right behaviors – allows a subordinate to respond in kind. If those who are to be led are going to be influenced and expected to follow, leaders must also establish a comfort zone that encourages followers to offer appropriate and timely feedback. This two-way communication is necessary for successful leadership and organizational functioning.
Ethics form the true basis of leadership. Every leader knows they must obtain results, but ethical leaders understand that how results are achieved is extremely important. Results achieved in the wrong way are generally not repeatable or sustainable.The right thing to do is usually the hardest. Good leaders must learn to internalize their organization’s values and live them so that others can trust what they say and do.
Problem-solving & Failure
When considering training topics for leadership education, learning to problem-solve – and fail – is critical. Leaders must employ the best methods of problem solving they can, but everyone fails sometimes, and so they also must master the art of learning from failure. Good leaders understand the value of mistakes, and use them as a learning tool. Teach leaders to manage failure not by running from it or avoiding it, but by chasing problems, and seeing how they can contribute to future success. Effective leaders will also empower their followers to make honest mistakes — and learn from them.
A thorough review of leadership training topics can be found in the leadership training video Leaders of Character: Leadership – the West Point Way. This program shows how West Point teaches cadets to lead with honor and character. It then visits West Point graduates at work in the public and private sectors, demonstrating the same leadership skills they learned at West Point.