Leadership Styles

Understanding a Need for Leadership Training

Art Gib asked:

What was long thought of a desperate approach to failed leadership, executive leadership coaching has made its way into many “successful” businesses as a mainstay. IBM for instance, has permanent staff whose role is strictly to train upper management. Successful companies are looking to maintain that winning streak. Executive leadership training is meant to help executives and CEOs learn about their methods and help them go where they want to go with their business, bringing their workers and constituents along — willingly — with them. This is done by evoking change in the company’s culture.

Some Training Approaches

For the most part, executive leadership training will begin with management: CEO, executives and general managers. It’s often broken into groups, or a series of one-on-one conversations with the guide. Also if there are special groups in the office that are given specific tasks, training is provided by some guide teams to help organize an effective structure.

Depending on where management wants to go with the company and the flow of information the guide typically wants to understand the culture and thought process within the company and advises them on:

– Building trust for executives and staff alike

– Aligning belief system and promoting teamwork

– Empowering all levels to take ownership of their work

– Refining communication and transparency

Some of the pitfalls within the structure are also looked into. Mostly this has to do with the overall corporate attitude, or culture as described before.

Training is geared to create a strong corporate culture. A strong culture is where all staff responds to work direction because of strong alignment with upper management. This is basically saying the idea of merely doing something because “it’s my job,” rather than a personal feeling and the belief that doing the work is the right thing to do.

There are pitfalls to a mindless following of this as well and executive leadership training is meant to train leaders in recognizing this and finding a balance between alignment verses bandwagoning and blind allegiance mentality, which can stifle creative independent thought.

You may be familiar with past employers who, you can tell, held a position in a company that suffered from bad culture. One dominant style of executive leadership style is where there is a micro controlled system will a lot of policy and negative reinforcement measures. Bureaucracy and procedural adherence is forced upon new employees. If not like this, then the groupthink opposite could occur.

Everybody is blissfully following allegiance and working happily in their position while the company could be suffering terribly and implodes. One may venture to think of companies in the tech industry during the turn of the 21st century that were overvalued or had corruption run rampant — they possibly had a slice of this negative culture style.


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