How to Develop an Effective Leadership Program?

By: SparkUs Team

Leadership development programs became essential in the ever-changing business climate. But despite the vast money invested in these programs, research has demonstrated that one in three employees does not trust their employer.1 

In this case, it is time to challenge our one-way quest in the search for leadership training and ask ourselves: While trust is a remaining issue, can we still call it true leadership? Is this what the future of work demands? And if we are to focus on the outcomes, can this leader still sustain a result-oriented working environment? 

These sure are vital questions to answer. So, let’s elaborate on the current position of the existing leadership programs and compare them to the ideal of Leadership 4.0.

How to Develop Leadership 4.0

It has become quite clear that Industry 4.0 implies not only racing high technology but also Leadership 4.0 that understands and adapts to the challenges of the digital age. In the World Economic Forum it was stated that the new ideal is team-oriented, cooperative, agile, inspiring, and cross-hierarchical digital leaders, who are also mindful of their ethical responsibilities. And this “dream leaders” approach is called Leadership 4.0.

Therefore, companies have to engage with the development programs that offer necessary skills the new age leaders must have. Yet the business schools they turn to are still breeding the idea of unilateral training the programs as if one size could ever fit all.2

When it comes to leadership, there is a famous saying: Execution is the key. We can agree that this implies an organization can scale up, get results, and gain success via execution. But, what are the components of this execution in business life? Who and what are its vital organs? How can we develop Leadership 4.0?

The answer to all these questions lies in the statistics:3

  • Result-oriented leaders are rated as good leaders ~14% of the time
  • People-oriented leaders are rated as good leaders ~12% of the time
  • Leaders with both strong analytical and social skills are rated as good leaders ~72% of the time

Moreover, even if some leadership qualities differ in nature, most effective leaders combine interpersonal skills with a results-driven focus. But, only 13 percent4 of leaders fit this profile. Among workers, 65 percent5 want more feedback from their leaders. And, this implies that leaders need to create the proper time and space for the team.

Since business growth is not achieved by a single individual, leaders must have interpersonal skills such as solving conflicts, motivating team members, fostering teamwork, and building trustworthy foundations. To revolutionize the organizations accordingly with future standards, altering the employees’ mindsets is also critical. Then, it is not enough to support the leaders in their ways of thinking out of the box – team members’ perspective also needs to be developed in an engaging atmosphere.

But obviously, such programs are insufficient to improve the ‘people’ of those organizations. There is a clear need for personalized yet scalable, adaptable, and trackable methods. Also, there is a budget issue to consider since assigning each employee a training program would not be affordable even for large scale companies. Therefore, it seems like there is much progress to be done in training programs to create an innovative and results-driven team in harmony.

Get Scalable Coaching for Future Leadership

The above-mentioned problems are critical for our approach that stems from the never-ending skepticism towards old methods. For the desired change to take place, leaders should be able to implement their learnings with their team members. Therefore, leadership development programs would be incomplete, if we do not involve the team members into this development process. As SparkUs, we understand what is called the ‘living laboratory’6 in leadership development practice. We explore and implement new methodologies in our wide spectrum of coaching tools. The content structure of our platform is designed by a group of coaches and HR Tech experts, which aims to mimic the experience of not only the leader, but also the employee on a coaching journey. Moreover, our platform also enables the HR managers to track the engagement levels of both the leaders and the employees to the coaching process and collect statistical data on several sessions and actions, without breaching coaching confidentiality. 

Coaching, unlike training, is a personal and situation-specific development method. As for the impact on participants as individuals, it is found that personalized follow-up created a noticeable difference. One-on-one coaching, in particular, led to an improvement7 in the process of converting lessons learned during the program into meaningful changes in knowledge, behavior, and attitude. 

Our offer for a living laboratory is two fold: 

  • In the Manager-as-a-Coach Program, we offer a digital coaching package to employees of the leaders so that leaders can use their coaching skills in the field. Leaders are given the opportunity to apply their coaching skills in a real-life conversation with their direct reports, who are also ready to receive coaching thanks to their experience on the SparkUs platform. 
  • We also support the leader development program with the Training module + Digital Coaching + One-to-one Coaching model. Thus, upon realizing what they have learned in the class, they have the opportunity to evaluate and internalize what they do in the field.

It is evident how leadership development programs on the market mostly rely on short-term and expensive training modules. By understanding the necessary transformation that Leadership 4.0 requires, we have integrated and scaled coaching services into leadership development programs with affordable ticket prices. Not only have we enabled monitoring the results of the program, but we have also made scalability with employees available from entry-level to manager without budget constraints.

Let’s build the future of leadership together!


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