Leadership development or leadership training?

So why leadership development and not just leadership training? Leadership training mostly encompasses various forms of leadership skills training – for instance communication training. Leadership development transcends that, the underlying principle being that the depth of the personal development is what builds the foundation of self awareness and consciousness. This foundation is then what provides another dimension to these same leadership skills, now with an even greater impact on others.

The impact of Emotional Intelligence in Leadership, on performance is well documented. Here is one example: In a 1996 study of a global food and beverage company David McClellan found that when senior managers had a critical mass of emotional intelligence capabilities, their divisions outperformed yearly earnings goals by 20%. Two of the 5 components of Emotional Intelligence – Self Awareness and Self Management – are directly influenced with personal development. Even the other three components – Motivation, Empathy and Social Skills – are at least indirectly impacted. Simple leadership  skills allow us to address these, but it is the deeper intelligence through personal development that adds the real impact. The stronger the foundation, the stronger the leader, the stronger the impact on others.

If we are unsure of what we stand for, or lack a clear perception of what our purpose is, or even lack the clarity of our intention, if we are not authentic, not behaving or making choices in alignment with our values, would people follow us? We may still be able to speak brilliantly, but will it really align people constructively and inspire them with a sense of direction?

Leadership development facilitates values-based authenticity, discovering our own purpose and direction, and becoming clear about what our own intentions are, as opposed to just having an idea of what it is that we want. (????This makes the difference between the leadership concept ‘for the good of all’ as opposed to just being selfish.)

Real strength and power in leadership does not originate from control and assertiveness. That is probably what fuels autocracy. Rather, it comes from the trust, compassion and empathy we build, from our ability to empower people to help themselves.

To summarise, at a very basic level, leadership is how we motivate and communicate. Leadership development is a personal journey that adds depth and dimension to the simple skills, tools and models that help us become fundamentally better leaders.

The challenges of Leadership development

How do we build self awareness and consciousness, discover our real purpose in life? How could we consciously shift the way we think, and the patterns we think in, recognise and adjust our attitudes and reactions? How do we become authentic, influencing our actual behaviour to be more in line with our intention? How do we collaborate constructively with others in groups or in teams, communicate authentically, deal with conflict or unpleasant conversations?

Ever faced the situation when you said something to someone, and realising that you had actually upset them, was forced to say something to the effect – Sorry that’s not what I meant? So think about this, if you didn’t mean it that way, why did you choose to say it that way?

If you had the ability to be conscious of your thoughts, behaviour, actions and reactions in a way that helped you prevent situations like this, what would the impact be on other people? Would it be more or less constructive, more motivating or less motivating? Wold people follow you more or less?

Elements of Leadership Development

Self awareness and consciousness – 360 Profiles like The Leadership Circle or the LifeStyle Inventory or Leadership Work Styles from Human Synergistics help us identify a very clear picture of the way we think and behave, of how we see ourselves and how others see us. What we are aware of and also what we are not aware of, be it talents or personal blinds spots. This feedback helps us develop a much clearer understanding of how we really are, the impact we have on other people as well as develop better choices for the future.

Values and purpose help us understand and develop our own authenticity, define what we stand for, what is important to us privately and in business, and what we want to achieve as well as how.

Thinking and behaviour styles, archetypal- and attitude patterns and -models help us identify areas and situations where we can make different choices, and offer us the ability to actually do exactly that in a conscious way, every day. They also help us understand others better, in turn enabling us to influence our impact on them more constructively.

Different communication models and techniques enable us to actually put these decisions into practise, in these situations, and also to practise them in such a way that they become part of our ‘revised operating system’.

Finally, this leads us to showing up with a new responsibility for ourselves and the impact we have on ourselves and others. But more importantly, consciously being able to influence that impact ourselves.

In this way we are then able to build the hope, trust, stability and compassion that enables others to follow us with greater purpose and performance.

Development Methods

On-site workshop

The core of the development is workshop based, held in smaller hotels outside of the city centres to allow for the immersion and reflection necessary within a relatively short space of time.

Coaching – individual or group.

Each workshop also includes at least one individual coaching session and one group coaching session after the course to facilitate additional insight and learning, with the option of either more individual coaching or group coaching.

Online training.

Each workshop also offers an optional online follow up after 9 months to refresh key models and themes in 3 hour long online group sessions.

Support groups.

Each group will have the option of voluntarily joining the group support sessions organised by the group itself after the training.

Courses and Target Groups

Lower to Middle Management

Lower to Middle
  • If you are relatively new to the role, or have had no leadership development training, this course would be for you.
  • Your decision making role will mostly be dependent on others in your organisation, with little decision making autonomy.

Middle to Senior Management

Middle to Senior
  • Your role in your organisation is more senior, and you probably have managers reporting to you who themselves lead their own groups.
  • Your decision making role is less dependent on others in your organisation, with an expanded role and decision making autonomy.