To be an effective leader, whether one leads a corporation, a volunteer group or a community action committee, a person must have a good understanding of what his own personal goals and objectives are; the visionary path which he or she will travel to attaining self-fulfillment; and a sense of his abilities to communicate, gain trust, and coordinate the efforts of others in carrying out the mission of the organization.
A great leader knows that nourishing great relationships often produces results which exceed expectation. Maintaining respect, shared values and positive interactions with those seeking guidance and support from a leader are just as important as the targeted outcomes. Careful direction, motivation and influence need to be provided without alienating or pushing too strongly. Great accomplishments have resulted from dictating behaviors, but that type of direction does not suit a good leader in the long term. Knowing how to initiate and balance healthy relationships while clearly defining and designating purpose to members is essential in keeping the group engaged and committed. Participating in a leadership training program will provide self-assessment to new leaders or experienced ones, and introduce or reinforce successful methods of directing outcomes.
For leaders experiencing changes in the workplace, or in communities affected by losses of resources, learning successful ways to help employees or neighbors adapt to change; improve employee performance or community cohesiveness; and manage challenging situations as a democratic and affirmative coach rather than a feared commander will inspire more supportive, enthusiastic, effective actions in reaping high quality rewards.
In addition, with the instability in both economic and political environments worldwide, leadership training has never been more important in reinforcing skills and reactive behaviors in crisis management. Unfortunately, circumstances happen where members look to the person in charge of the team for support and objectivity which does not directly seem to affect objectives. But, leadership training reiterates the old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A good leader takes control when necessary, but the trust a group has in its leader is a great asset in emergency circumstances. Perception that the leader is strong and effective encourages pursuit of even greater achievement. That, alone, signifies a good leader.
Leadership training offers good assessment of attitudes and aptitude. There are many leadership styles and as once continues down the path of life and career, personality traits, values, and management skills change. Until recently, most people were taught to be authoritative, commanding, and controlling. Not only have these traits become unpopular in personal relationships, they no longer work on the job. Bowing down to the boss or taking direction from a personal partner is no longer acceptable behavior. As stated, good relationships produce effective results.
Participatory leadership is the most popular and effective method in successful work and personal relationships. Opinions and suggestions of all team members are requested, considered, and many times implemented. A more democratic approach leads to more effective outcomes as team members are working together to reach a common goal instead of working for someone to improve his or her company.
Leadership training can provide tools, workshops, case studies and role playing in helping a person assess one's leadership capacity and teach effective relationship skills with the vision of the group in mind. Not every style is right for every group. Training teaches coaching, evaluation, and inclusion skills necessary in retaining active participants and reminding members how valued each person's contribution is to the "bottom line." Most important, leadership training provides a mirror. How others perceive one's qualities is a strong indicator of how successful a leader he will be.