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Top 10 Leadership Development Activities for Managers

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Getting to the top of the corporate ladder requires personal and professional growth. Growth happens quickly with targeted leadership development activities where you alter specific behaviors. Leader growth does not simply happen magically over time. Dedication, commitment and ongoing leader skill development are the cornerstones of any leader’s development.

Leaders develop fastest when they are in control and get to choose. Too many leadership training programs teach from slide decks and a talking head. Now with zoom fatigue, the weakness of this approach to leader development has become painfully clear. So to develop your leaders effectively, you want a participant-driven learning experience. Where the leader is an active participant - choosing their actions and gaining insight from accurate feedback.

Of course, it helps to get a little boost from a team of professionals who really know participant-driven learning. Learn2 puts your leaders in the driver’s seat of their development. Actually they support leader’s drive all the way to impact. They believe most leadership training is broken because leaders must choose to alter behaviour and require actual support. Leader development through participant-driven learning is simply what they do best.

Leadership Development Activities
With the Leader in the Driver’s Seat

1. Immersive Team Experiences

Team building exercises can be an incredibly useful tool for managers. Yet most implementations are shallow and only last a single session. Immersive team experiences allow participants to choose their activities so are a perfect platform for managers focused on altering behaviors. You want people who take accountability and commit to invest the time to learn how to work as a team and how to lead the team. The best example is the award-winning Save the Titanic which offers a participant-driven immersive experience as the senior officers aboard the RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage.

2. One-On-One Impact Coaching with a Pro

While team programs have a lot of merit, one-on-one leadership coaching can rapidly develop leaders. Gaining insight into your blindspots by someone who walked a similar path can be clarifying. Empowering your leaders with impact coaching can be the most valuable leadership development activities where you learn to lead by leading actual impact.

3. Workshops on how to Deal With Resistance

Unfortunately, every management team reports that one of their biggest challenges in the workplace is dealing with resistance from all angles. Co-workers, other leaders and clients offer up serious roadblocks when they disagree with the management approach or priorities. It is important to learn the tools of how to deal with these challenging conversations in a constructive manner and even more important is participant-driven practice dealing actual resistance.

4. Simulations on Making or Implementing Important Changes

Change is an inevitability in every company. Change facilitates professional growth; which is why managers need to know how to implement changes effectively without making unnecessary waves. Again a participant-driven approach shift you from presentations about managing change by leadership consultants to participants practicing how to navigate change through a similar organizational structure.

5. Application of Different Thought Processes

While many of us are naturally wired to lead in a certain way and handle resistance with our own “old-faithful” method, it is now necessary to be able to adapt to others’ approach. Managers who thrive are able to work naturally in other people’s approach and to learn to adapt their ways of thinking with specific leadership development activities that focus on how you actually alter your behaviors in specific leadership situations.

6. Meeting and Conference Simulations

Knowing how to conduct oneself in a meeting is an invaluable skill. Participant-driven sessions which simulate a new or similar environment are a fantastic management training device. Imagine a sales team practicing selling a product three times to a new target market, their confidence when they actually get into their meeting increases results dramatically. Again, notice the pattern, stop telling people what to do, instead put them in a situation where they choose how to proceed.

7. Keeping Work Flowing

Efficient workflow is something many businesses struggle to attain. This is largely due to a lack of adequate staff training. Management and leadership courses focusing on workflow often focus on principles and theories. A participant-driven simulation can be a fun and dynamic way to learn firsthand how to get results rolling and keep it that way back at work.

8. Personal Leadership Fulfillment

In the quest for adequate managerial training, personnel often find themselves pushing their own dreams to the side. A “dream big” leadership program enables managers to get empowered by their futures within the company. Leaders who can see their personal desire to impact the world fulfilled at work - thrive. Connecting a leader’s motivation to results empowers the leader and the culture of your team. A well-balanced lifestyle is often lots of profitable AND purposeful impact. In fact, it transforms every manager into a great leader.

9. Employee Recognition and Rewards

Often, the key to creating the conditions for performance as a successful manager lies in building on the strengths of peers and team members while knowing how to recognize and reward them. Recognition is only difficult when you don’t know your people. This is why a leadership course on finding the strengths of others so you can recognize and reward effectively is a good move. Again ensure the focus is on the leader understanding their peers and people rather than a lecture.

10. Be Creative

Creativity is often killed by time or priorities in the corporate world. Good managers think creatively and imaginatively. Specific skills get detailed here because workshops expand this particular skill as a leadership development activity for the entire team and practice opens the door to new approaches to old challenges.

Doug Bolger is the world’s foremost instructional designer for participant-driven designs. He is changing how the world works, by changing how the world learns.

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