Leadership Development Programs in Australia Who Decides the Content?

This article explores the key aspects of effective leadership development training in Australia. It discusses the competencies that are being called for by Australian employees and the alignment to leadership training programs. Is the content of leadership development training programs determined by the leader, the trainer or by the employees?

Leadership development is one of essential elements to advancement both from a leadership and an employee perspective. When a leading consulting group did their research it was found that ’opportunities for development’ is the main workplace motivator for Australian employees.

But what motivates leaders? Should the needs of employees be the motivators for leaders and should leadership training focus on their fulfilment?

It is fairly transparent when leaders of organisations have selfish agendas or agendas that solely focus on improving shareholder value. Leadership styles in these instances are often counter productive creating silo’s, internal competitiveness and obsession with revenue targets.

So what would be the core competencies that leaders should acquire in their leadership training programs?

Typically the leadership training process begins with an analysis of the current reality and challenges of the leadership team. It then aims to improve the skills of the team to meet the challenges and to create the preferred reality set by them.

But what about the calls of change from the people they lead? Does that get a place on the leadership development agenda?

The answer to this question requires another question to be asked. Who are the key influencers and decision makers of the content in leadership training programs?

If the key issues to be included in the leadership development program are subjectively assessed without consultation of employees or an objective diagnostic analysis of the important indicators, then results may prove unsatisfactory to employees.

If however, the essential aspects of effective leadership as well as answering the calls of employee’s are included in the leadership training program, meaningful change becomes a more probable outcome.

So what are people looking for in their leaders and what would an effective leadership training program look like?

According to the many studies that have come across my desk as well as my own experience in this field, I will share what I believe can add value to the content of a leadership training program.

These aspects of leadership are by no means exhaustive and are written for the contemplation of the reader in no order of priority.

Suggested content in a leadership training program:

  • Effective listening – listen 75% talk 25%
  • Creating a compelling vision, purpose and direction
  • Role modelling key values
  • Being unwavering in instilling the behavioural indicators of the values
  • Getting your hands dirty – know what it feels like at the coal face
  • Communicate often and encourage constant feedback
  • Be accessible and a team player
  • Provide opportunities for people to show their strengths
  • Build a strong culture
  • Involve all your people in decision making
  • Know when and how to be assertive
  • Be committed to your own development – EQ, eliminating your gremlins
  • Encourage change and creativity
  • Know your people – know their motivators
  • Focus on the drivers to revenue and not on revenue itself
  • Say sorry and mean it
  • Be inspirational
  • Praise, acknowledge and reward frequently
  • Support your management continuously
  • Let the ’why’ be more important than the ’how’
  • Align your strategy to your vision
  • Focus on optimal execution
  • Show commitment to a higher purpose – Environment, Hunger etc
  • Have fun and learn to let go

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