Successful leadership is all about moves

Successful leadership is all about moves. It’s about how a leader manoeuvres the people around him or her self that they are willing and happy to do what he or she would like them to do. It’s about viewing the business and strategies of a department or company as a series of stages in a long game. And it’s very, very hard to teach well when the teacher (usually another manager or even head executive) has deadlines of his or her own to meet, and a busy schedule to keep on top of. That’s why leadership training is so vital to the successful inculcation of new management blood.

Think about this: new management (that’s managerial material either fresh out of business school, or promoted up from a non management position) has, except in very rare cases, absolutely no practical experience of managing people. Graduates from business school might know all the theory, but they’ve never done the actual time in the trenches. And promoted management, while at least theoretically capable of knowing the company’s business model, has never had a chance to try and run it. Anyone who has managed, in any business, knows that running the ship is a whole lot different from just pulling an oar. Leadership training, which basically outsources the onus of getting new managerial recruits up to scratch, offers companies an affordable and time viable method by which their recently made chiefs can get to grips with the good habits that make great leaders.

Those moves we were talking about, in that leadership game, are as often as not to do with the way people work – psychology, in other words. A good leader is a first rate psychologist, able to use different tacks with different people, as their individual temperaments require. Different strokes, as they say, for different folks. Thing is, not even seasoned management can teach that because every manager is different too. So the tactics that suit one kind of managerial personality don’t fit well with another. Leadership training bypasses all of this by teaching new management material to recognise and develop its own personal style. Rather than doing things a certain way because a senior figure in the company has always done them that way, recruits who have been through a good training course learn to find their own methods and use them. At base level, good management training is all about training oneself to manage well, rather than teaching people what constitutes a good manager.

Leadership training is as flexible, these days, as the world of business communications. Course leaders can visit their place of work at appointed times to run carefully constructed modules. Modules that pay as much attention to time taken out of normal work as they do to the development of good managerial techniques.

Some time must be lost by definition – no-one can complete a leadership training course without actually doing it, after all – but every effort is made, and usually successfully, to minimise the impact on businesses’ normal working load. It makes perfect sense – farm out the new blood and take it back in fully loaded and ready to go, rather than taking two people out of work (the trainee and the trainer) for an unspecified period of time.

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