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Management and Leadership Development Training

It’s More Than Courses and Classes

Think for a moment about your own management and leadership development training. Was it based largely on a formal course or qualification, or have you mainly picked up things as you went along?

However you may have started, keeping up to date is crucial – whether through more courses, by on-the-job-training, or by your own personal development. In this article we discuss 6 ways to get the most from your management and leadership development training.

Techniques and tools may build solid foundations, but it’s intellectual skills and insight that will really help managers to build their careers.

More commonly, managers tend to gain these initial techniques and intellectual skills on courses like an MBA program, or increasingly through MBA online programs. Such a course can provide an excellent start, but it’s only a start.

Leadership and Management knowledge is not static. It must be dynamic if it’s to help us respond to the constantly changing environment in which our businesses operate.

Some ideas may well have a timeless quality about them, others may have had their time and have a diminishing relevance for the future. What we know about leadership and management therefore should be under regular review. When reviewing your management and leadership development training ask yourself:Management and Leadership Development Training

  • How do you and other managers and leaders in your organization keep up to date?
  • How do you find informed, stimulating, challenging, management and leadership development training resources?
  • What do your best managers and leaders know?
  • What do your managers and leaders need to be good at?
  • Which ideas can help with the challenging questions your business is currently facing?
  • What insights might help you realize possible opportunities in your organization?

Getting the Most from Management and Leadership Development Training

These six points have been synthesized from our work, research and writing on management development:

  1. Learn from the best and learn faster.
    Build on what has gone before, especially the wisdom of others. Many new ideas, are not really new, often they come from the wisdom of others. Become a student of great thinkers on management and leadership. What ideas have shaped success in other organizations? What are the current ideas and insights which might shape how you think about leadership, management and business? Be informed by the best.
  2. Learn from the tried and tested.
    Some ideas have a good evidence base; they have stood the test of time. Many mistakes can be avoided by learning from ideas that are tried and tested.
  3. Learn to distinguish between fad and fact.
    In the haste to keep up with a fast-changing business world, it’s all too easy to jump on band wagons. Just because something seems to have worked elsewhere doesn’t necessarily mean it will work in your situation. Pay careful attention to the evidence that supports any new idea. Then think carefully about how ideas might need to be adapted to your organizational context.
  4. Learn from those around you.
    There are numerous opportunities to learn from the wisdom of those around you. Seek out the managers who best support and encourage learning. Learn from these people by asking questions and seeking to understand their methods, philosophies and the reasons for their success.
  5. Learn to change the way you manage.
    The world of management is changing. Just as business is constantly changing, so too are the skills and knowledge needed to manage effectively. Virtual teams, collaborations, new organizational structures and outsourcing capabilities: they all demand radically different ways of managing and working. These evolving changes to the way we work will have a significant impact on how we lead and manage. Think about what you’ll need to do to change the way you manage.
  6. Learning to learn.
    A key skill for any leader or manager is to develop an inquisitive and disciplined approach to keeping up to date. Knowledge often has a sell-by date and needs to be refreshed and renewed as the business context changes. That’s why it’s important to build-in regular time to keep up-to-date, and to reflect on your practices as a manager. This is perhaps where the real management and leadership development training takes place. Take how you learn seriously. Start by re-reading the six questions posed at the start of this article.

Ideas and Insights that lead to Impact

At the Happy Manager we’re constantly researching ideas and promising practices. Good quality leadership and management development training, such as MBA programs and the emerging MBA online programs, can help managers to make a great start to their careers.

The challenge is to build on that platform. The best of these courses will instill a desire to keep up to date, and recognition of the value of life-long learning.

Of course, this is equally important whether you have experience of a formal management and leadership course or not.

Renewing management and leadership development training means bringing together:

  • Ideas that stretch, challenge and stimulate.
  • Ideas that provide a springboard to new practices and insights.
  • Ideas that lead to positive impact.

One way to keep your management and leadership development training up to date is to refer to our extensive collection of free articles. If you are looking for ways you can implement these ideas in your organization then see our “Services to Business” page. Feel free to use the “contact us” form to send us your enquiry. Then there’s our on-line store where there are a wide range of resources to keep you up to date.

If you really do want to get the most from your management and leadership development training, you’ll need a robust learning process. Read our article Business Management Education: Re-thinking our Approach for a view that challenges conventional thinking about management education and development. Then in our article “Leadership Management Training”, we discuss a robust learning process which will ensure stretching and stimulating content leads to a positive impact.

You can find plenty on this site to help your management and leadership development training. You may also want to have a look at some useful summaries of some of the best thinkers in management and leadership.


Here’s three that we have partciularly valued and refer to frequently on this site:

  1. Charles Handy
  2. Tom Peters
  3. Peter Drucker


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