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Leadership Development Programs: How To Choose The Right Provider

John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Why is this true today? Because today’s leaders must constantly grow, improve and adapt in order to be effective—particularly in such a fast-paced, volatile business world. That’s why corporate leadership training is a must-have on any L&D schedule, especially for CEOs, MDs and department leads. The only question is how to choose the right leadership development program?

As experts in corporate training, trusted by global organisations like Pfizer, L’oreal and Intel, we know what makes effective leadership development training. Here we’ll share with you some things to look out for when comparing providers. 

Four things to look out for when choosing a leadership development program 

1. Evidence of content design that pushes leaders boundaries and supports them to shift long term

Learning environments that do not challenge leaders to move outside their comfort zone limit growth and practice of new skills. It’s an important part of development that leaders explore and try out new ideas and techniques in a safe, supportive space. The ‘line of tolerance’ framework we use to design training refers to how well participants deal with these types of pressures. For leaders and upwardly mobile professionals alike, the benefit of slowly lifting the ‘line of tolerance’ means an increased ability to handle growing challenges and responsibilities with confidence. 

In our leadership development programs, trainees are nudged outside their comfort zone, and challenged in constructive ways before bringing them back to a place of comfort, then nudged again. This is an optimal method for sustained learning and development.

The next step is providing individuals with the tools, beliefs, and values to develop new behaviours so they can redefine their personal identity. Not only learning new skills but embedding them at an unconscious level. This is where you see real shifts. Listen to our Co-Founder Colin talk further about the journey to mastery in the clip below.

2. High Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

Any good leadership training course worth its salt will request feedback from participants in the form of Net Promoter Scores. This is usually a score for things like the facilitator, content, delivery and engagement. Make sure you check the NPS of whichever leadership development programs you’re considering and make an assessment based on your goals or specific requirements for training. The top five reasons participants rate our training an NPS score of 100+  time and time again are as follows:

BEING ENGAGED THROUGHOUT
CONTENT WAS USEFUL
TRAINING STRUCTURE
PRACTICAL TOOLS PROVIDED
OUR FACILITATORS

3. Tailored and practical course content

What are the issues within your organisation? Is your business full of technical experts but lacking in effective communicators able to motivate and inspire their colleagues? This is the most common scenario we see here at The Colin James Method®. Most managers are not natural people leaders and struggle to support their teams through challenging transformations. Unfortunately, most leadership development programs feature cookie-cutter theoretical training with minimal guidance on the application of new leadership skills. This is why we design our training to be bespoke. We work collaboratively with you to diagnose your objectives and skill gaps, then customise our approach to suit your desired outcomes. We also offer a range of blended training options, including face-to-face, online, group training, facilitation, and/or live, virtual training.

Two years ago, CUA a Queensland based bank faced over 18months of enormous change across their organisation: A new CEO, an executive team restructure, a brand relaunch, an organisational realignment… and that’s just the beginning. Their leaders needed support and development to lead and achieve positive change. To tackle this challenge head-on, we designed and delivered a 6-month ‘phased’ program with 20 nominated leaders from CUA. The focus was on the application of learning, each participant had an existing project to work on, implement and manage through the program.

After the training Dylan Atherson one of 20 leaders on the leadership program at CUA described the experience as “a highly valuable, highly practical program. Unlike any other program, I’ve done.” 

Upon completion, each CUA participant had practical, demonstrable capabilities in leading self, leading others, leading change, and leading through disruption. This set them up with a marked advantage over their competition and each leader with skills that will boost their career trajectory.

4. Participant reviews and testimonials

Participant reviews and testimonials are a great way for you to get a feel for how former participants benefited from the leadership development program you’re assessing. Reputable providers that have sought and been granted permission to share client testimonials might feature the name, headshot, or even a video case study of the person providing the feedback. If you’re in any doubt, search the participant’s name on LinkedIn; you might even want to connect with them to find out a bit more about their experience of the program. Testimonials from female leaders might be of particular interest to you if you’re seeking training with a female leadership bias. You might also weight the review of a participant in the same industry as you more heavily than that of someone from a completely different sector.

As well as our NPS, you can find plenty of client case studies on our Results page. We also include testimonials from former participants on the Leadership Training page itself, like this one: 

 “This was one of (if not) the best courses I have taken. The fundamental principles have a real-life value that can be used every day, both personally and professionally.”

Paurav Patel, Midwest Sales GM, SAP, USA

Remember, not all leadership development programs are created equal, so it’s important to vet potential training courses thoroughly. Good training is worth the investment—so with that in mind, be wary of anything that is free or cheap. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. 

If you’re looking for totally bespoke, engaging, hands-on training, delivered by some of the world’s most influential and experienced corporate communicators, have a look at what our Leadership Training has to offer.  

The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.

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