In 2022 the leadership skills of supervisors and managers will continue to be challenged by several factors: by turnover among staff as The Great Resignation continues, by the shift to hybrid working with the effects of the shift on corporate culture, and by the need to maintain engagement of remote workers. Fortunately, there are many resources online and in traditional educational settings that can assist with increasing leadership skills. This article will outline some considerations to take into account and the resources available to all levels for leadership development.
Leadership training is not just for top performers
It is not unusual for organizations to emphasize leadership training for senior managers, while addressing only basic supervisor skills for those with less experience. This is a mistake. Leadership training should start early in a manager’s career and continue with the development of more advanced skills in the following years. This builds what might be called “bench strength” among the management team. In addition, this level of skill development will provide flexibility in succession planning so that there are always management team members at every level who can be candidates for promotion and for leading new business opportunities. It is important to avoid the paradox whereby the ones who get the leadership training are the managers with the most experience, and who need it least.
Leadership development must involve coaching to develop a credible leadership presence. Think about the most effective leaders you have observed. All of them probably had a certain je ne sais quoi—they were not so informal that they had no credibility, and not so formal that they were difficult to be around. It takes feedback from other people to develop this trait, and there are many approaches to guide this feedback.
Complete coverage may require a complex plan
Leadership training ought to be individually “designed” to match potential career paths. Some leadership development content will need to address more technical skills and knowledge including business strategy, finance, and project management. Other aspects for a wider group of managers must include communication skills and coaching. And finally, some managers will require the development of specific skills to address particular deficiencies; sometimes this will involve particular assignments to provide opportunities for the improvement of skills.
Thoughtful selection and use of feedback and assessment instruments are essential to development of an individual leadership development plan.
Resources for development of leadership skills