04 February 2009

Leadership and training 2

A leader has three ways in which he is involved with training. The first is his own training to become a leader. This is often a combination of informal and formal training. Secondly he is involved in the training of future leaders, to get them ready to take their position as a leader, when it is time for the leader to step down. Thirdly as part of the strategy of the organization. Here I am only going to talk about the training of leaders.

The standard method

Save a few companies, most companies choose to hunt and select their new leaders outside their organization. The choice is for proven leadership quality. That has two reasons. First you prevent jealous reactions of other managers, who did not make it into the leadership position. Second you have proof that the new leader can lead and can bear the lesser aspects of the function of leader.

The prevention of jealousy between managers is important to an organization, because jealousy can create adverse powers. The managers that were passed over, can start an internal war or use their position to undermine the new leader. And every internal resistance has negative effects on the effectiveness of an organization.

The advantage of the proof of leadership is that you prevent someone failing, because he was not ready for the leadership role. However the proof is off course only proof for the fact that the leader could lead the organization he left. It can never be proof, that he can lead the organization he is going to lead. Except off course is both organizations are identical to the last point.

The other approach

A different approach is the management development program for high potentials. A combination of training and development for employees who show potential to realise that potential.

These programs begin off course with the selection of the HiPo's, by their manager, a manager HRM or HRD or maybe even a manager MD and a manager high in the hierarchy of the organization, sometimes the current leader.

Next the HiPo's get to participate in all kinds of training and development, directed at realising their potential. Often this potential strands in a management position at middle management levels. Not because they lack potential, but because their are more people with potential, then positions for managers.

This approach often flounders at the possibility to practice with the new knowledge acquired during the MD program. An effect from that fact that training is something completely different from a working organization. A proper working MD program will try to make the training situation resemble the practice of the organization and will try to integrate the training into the practical organization.

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