Jo Jeffries

future proof your career leadership training

The Benefits and Limitations of Leadership Training

In the UK, a huge amount of money is spent by companies, large and small, on leadership training. Globally leadership and management training is thriving, with some $356 billion estimated to be spent in a single year (2015), including around £45 billion in the UK alone and this figure is sure to keep on rising. But are companies getting a good return on their investment, and is it paying off in terms of productivity and success?

The Barriers to Success

In surveys, many senior managers have said that training appears to have only a short-term benefit. Leadership training programmes are undoubtedly a force for good in most cases and particularly where leaders understand the importance of clear, concise and regular communication, as emphasised by experienced mentoring companies like Eric Land Mentoring, leaders in the field of guiding businesses to success through training, mentorship and upskilling.

In the early days of a leadership training course, participants usually gain plenty of benefits and insight, which enables them to work better with colleagues and establish new objectives for their organisation going forward. Unfortunately, this initial surge is too often short-lived as managers and staff settle back into old routines and entrenched attitudes.

It becomes clear what the barriers are to effecting permanent change for the better in companies struggling to achieve their full potential, and the most common ones are:

  • An unclear direction on strategy and achievement goals
  • A lack of teamwork among senior executives and leaders
  • A reluctance by senior managers to change direction or acknowledge their own failings
  • A reluctance by employees to point out to senior managers the obstacles standing in the way of effective operation

How Leadership Training Can Overcome Barriers to Enable Permanent Change

The most effective leadership training aims to improve individual development and organisational redesign and development in tandem with an emphasis on senior and lower level managers developing and evolving on the job as it were, teaching the art of continual learning in order to adapt to changing circumstances whenever they occur.

A vital part of leadership training is helping managers and senior executives to understand what behaviours and practices are expected of them and particularly in terms of how to set out a clear path to success for their organisation, including the hiring and development of new and existing talent within the company.

Managers can learn to understand the importance of looking for skills gaps within their staff as well as spotting underused employees who could be better employed elsewhere in the organisation with the help of further training and education.

As pointed out earlier, through leadership training, managers could learn the benefits of better communication with company employees and colleagues in order to gain insights into how the organisation is performing, what could be changed or improved and how day-to-day coaching and mentoring could help facilitate new strategies and values on the way to success all across the board. 

future proof your career leadership training

4 People Skills You Need To Future-Proof Your Career

When it comes to getting on at work and progressing your career, you will most definitely need to have some essential people skills, as well as being good at what you do.

The technical skills you have and must continue to update to stay ahead in the game are, of course, relevant to how effectively you future-proof your career. Yet, these skills are increasingly shrinking in shelf-life and are becoming less relevant to a person’s ability to impact a business. Updating technical skills is deemed essential; therefore, its significance in future-proofing your career is becoming surpassed by the need to have the right people skills.

Technology will never be able to effectively or entirely replace the people skills that drive businesses forward. People skills help individuals be more dynamic and connected when they communicate with empathy and offer strategies, creativity and critical thinking that technology can not bring. People skills are important, and those that demonstrate high people skills will have the coveted qualities increasingly in demand by employers. Hiring or upskilling employees is now more a focus than existing technology knowledge, as businesses seek to employ or create individuals that can contribute directly and be innovative for the future.

Top skills you should work on to future-proof your career

Become an expert

You must know your stuff. Apply critical thinking to the complexities of your work and create new solutions by identifying manageable components that evolve as the business environment changes. Show your employer you can use initiative to solve existing and new problems and have different ways and approaches to resolve issues. Show you can make changes that enhance value, and you have the skills for rapid experimentation and critical thinking to bring results to fruition.

Sharpen your digital footprint

You should be discoverable, so enhancing your digital footprint (the story of your career) is always a good idea. You may not need it now, but it will be there when you do., Sharpen your presentation and communication skills to deliver an engaging message and visuals that connect you with your audience, like-minded individuals, and potential job opportunities. Build up your career presence in a clear, concise and inclusive jargon-free tone. This can be done by writing compelling content and sharing best practices or meaningful articles highlighting your interests, abilities and activities.

Be a mentor and expand your network

Being able to mentor and be mentored are important personal skills that show you can learn, teach and guide or be guided. These skills require active listening and coaching skills, honing your ability to use collaborative influence to inspire people and have allies that you can work with and alongside shows you are adaptable and able to work with a diverse range of people as well as alone. 

Develop a continuous learning mindset

Whilst business challenges remain similar, the way we solve them is constantly evolving. Whether it’s through integrating new technology, new people or many other business demands, it’s essential to future-proof your career by adopting a continuous learning mindset. Workplaces are becoming ever more agile, and adapting to agile working will validate your ability to learn and deal with changing priorities and workloads while learning new skills in a calm, persistent way even in the face of difficulties will give you a strong future within your career.