International Journal of Operations Management
Volume 2, Issue 1, October 2021, Pages 23-25
Boosting Team Performance with Leadership Development
Professor (Dr.) Chaitanya Niphadkar
Director, Organizational Development National School of Leadership (NSL)
Abstract: Have you ever wondered that there’s a leader within you? On a daily basis we face situations that are outside the scope of our control but we are, most of the times, forced to deal with it. Sometimes there is no escape allowed and we knowingly or unknowingly display leadership qualities in our behaviour. Moreover, it is not wise to run away from situations but logical to face them boldly. In this sense, I believe that we are the leader of our actions. However, one cannot be simply termed as a leader unless one strives to develop the qualities. This article speaks about developing the leader in you. It makes us aware about the leadership development programmes and building leaders at the workplace.
Keywords: People Management, Team-work, Leadership Development, Human Resources.
A leader is a good student and believes in the need for Learning and Development (L&D). Any leader needs to be consistent in acquiring and applying knowledge. Leadership, in particular, appears to be the key for employee engagement and team building. It also establishes coherent links with institutional goals and connects to the organisation’s mission and vision. After observing every type of leadership development program Mike Myatt believes that “most of them don’t even come close to accomplishing what they were designed to do” i.e., building better leaders. He adds, “You don’t train leaders you develop them”. Furthermore, he suggests, training presumes the need for programming on systems, processes and techniques and assumes systems, processes and techniques that are the right fit. Thus, Myatt recommends, not to train leaders; rather coach them and mentor them, disciple them and develop them but in anyway one should not attempt to train them. In addition, training is something that will bring change in an individual’s thinking and polish his or her skills. But formal classroom training may not be sufficient for building leaders instead an interactive session that involves various activities is more suitable. This is where the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) comes into picture. People vary in their capacity when it comes to leadership. Some possess innate capacity while some arguably have none, but on a broader scale most of the managers have leadership qualities in varying proportions. Besides, selection of a leader as a ‘head’ of the team or a department is a crucial task for an organization. After the head is appointed, it is important for the management to provide development avenues and enhance the leadership abilities for an effective performance through leadership training. Although this may appear to be a small part in employee development but it is vital for the success of the organisation. British leadership guru John Adair says, “…the seven hallmarks of successful courses in this area are that they should be simple, practical, participative” and above all they should possess features like “variety, enjoyable, relevant and short.”
How does the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) make a difference?
It makes the learners aware of their role and responsibilities in a working environment. It empowers them for utilising their full potential and skills. Such trainings provide soft skills for effectively leading the team and empower leaders to maintain good relations with the team members; as well as customers and clients. They generate a sense of trust and boost leader’s confidence level which ultimately enables the organisation to grow. Besides, LDP provide innovative approaches that make the learners think ‘outside the box’ and this helps especially when resolving critical issues at the workplace. It also facilitates the concept of network building within and outside the team. In addition, LDP aims to foster the behavioural change in leaders and makes them think optimistically. In other words, it teaches them to manage their stress levels while handling problematic situations, and train them to react in a professionally acceptable way which in return boosts the team morale. Above and beyond, it prepares them for coping with work pressures and performing in harmony.
Training team members:
LDP is incomplete without a proper team building exercise. ‘Team Building’ is all about leadership, communication and relationships. It’s a ‘people’ business and not a ‘process’ business. While all companies aspire to harness the benefits of a diverse and talented workforce, few have figured out on how to leverage the synergies rather than getting distracted by its differences. Training for team members is also essential. It is an important aspect for L&D to happen and mainly focuses on the concept of collaborative work through encouragement, creating challenging situations and making the trainees to think and generate ideas to resolve an issue or a puzzle. It must boost the morale of the individual through the group activities finally allowing them to learn from their mistakes. The team building exercises enable learners to understand their strengths and weaknesses. It will make them think from the ‘We’ dimension rather than the ‘I’ perspective. Moreover, it makes them feel as if they are one family that makes the organisation. In the process of interactions, they also realize the importance of each other’s contribution towards the common goal.
In the present times, LDP is the answer to build leaders at work. All LDPs mainly combine action with theory that encourages wide range of engagement styles. Also, most of the programmes use the experiential learning as the base and related theories accelerated with action learning skill sets. Their focus is basically on the real-life problems that can happen at the workplace. Their aim is to equip the professional and prepare him/her on finding solutions to the probable problems. Most of the successful LDPs mould learner’s thought process and teach learners the acceptable ways of reacting towards an issue. In this sense, they build leaders, ready for the crisis, with a global vision that are capable of handling international cultures, show performance in a team environment, make best use of diverse nationalities and so on rather than concentrating on just the theoretical base.
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