Leadership development deals with any activity that is aimed at enhancing the leadership qualities of an individual spearheading an organization. In the olden days, the leadership enhancement actions were rigid, formal and very austere as the individuals who conducted them had to ensure that their actions were completed in a formal setting. Most of these leadership enhancement actions followed the rigid structure of MBA programs and were offered only in prestigious business schools and universities. However, recent trends have seen a shift in these leadership enhancement programs towards a more personal, laid back setting. Even though the seriousness of the program remains intact, the individuals who conduct is are preferring other, more laidback and casual settings to make these sessions as well as their participants more active. Accordingly, some of the latest trends in leadership enhancement programs includes the use of action culture and movements to teach leadership values. For instance, some individuals opt to make use of adventure courses and trails like water bridges and high ropes to guide participants into using their hidden leadership potentials. Some also arrange holidays in executive retreats in order to provide a peaceful, hassle free backdrop to let participants develop their leadership skills and possibly surpass their own leaders in the process.
The Different Types of Leadership Enhancement Programs
The different types of leadership enhancement programs generally fall under two broad categories. These include either an individual or group setting. Traditional approaches are more preferred for group leaders, and focus on individual leadership qualities and abilities, as well as his/her attitude towards leading other individuals or an entire organization. Experts believe that although leadership is an intrinsic quality in some individuals, it needs to be recognized and nurtured periodically in order to increase the effectiveness of their leadership skills to span over a period of time. As such, in order for a leader to realize his/her fullest potential, it is considered absolutely essential that he/she undergo leadership development as and when the need arises. However, leadership enhancement pertaining to an individual may be a tricky process, especially if the concerned leader’s private characteristics tend to impede the effectiveness of his/her leadership abilities. In this case, it is considered wise for the concerned leader to first opt for formal programs that would help him/her improve his/her leadership competencies, before opting for these leadership enhancement programs. Apart from group leadership, another type of leadership enhancement program focuses on the specific characteristic and attributes of a leader, including behavior and thought processes before gauging their effects on interpersonal relationships between the concerned leader and his/her team. This type of collective leadership enhancement would take the entire program as a process aimed at improving relationships within the organization (with the leader and his/her teammates) as well as outside (the social network linkages between different organizations and their members).