How External Support Networks and Management Leadership Online Courses Can Help Shape the Leaders of the Future, Like Yourself

One of the biggest mistakes that new managers make is that they approach their new role in the same way that they approached their previous operational role. And while it’s true that there will be many management skills that can be transplanted from one role to another, as a new manager it’s essential that you work to develop your managerial style in line with your new position, taking into account your place in the organisational hierarchy and the effects of leadership styles on team motivation.

For many, this will mean considering leadership online courses, but the problem that today’s managers face is that not all online training courses were created equal.


The Problem with Traditional Training

Research suggests that only around 50% of new managers come into the role with the skills they need to lead a team to success, highlighting the urgent need for suitable training. However, one third of HR directors say that developing employees into effective leaders is ‘problematic’, and a LinkedIn report shows that only 13% of businesses believe that they are ‘excellent’ at developing their future leaders. This can have a knock on impact across the organisation, affecting the ability to build a good team culture, reach sales targets, deliver high standards of customer service and attain desired levels of productivity.

Why is this the case? Quite simply, many traditional managerial training programmes don’t work. In Harvard Business School’s State of Leadership report, the researchers found that, in 2016, three quarters of managers believed that more innovation was needed to produce effective learning techniques. Just two years later, this figure had risen to 80%, suggesting that no improvements in training innovation had been made. 

The reason that many managerial training programmes fail is because they approach ‘leadership’ as a single entity, rather than as a collective that is made up of empathy, honesty, intelligence, accountability, integrity, trust, insight, and responsibility. And when these characteristics are considered individually, it is clear that these are not characteristics that can be learnt in the classroom; they’re learnt through experience. 


Introducing Management Leadership Online Courses

The new generation of managerial training is rooted in leadership online courses, which move away from the concept of learning through listening, and facilitate a shift to learning through doing. Forbes Contributor Kevin Kruse surveyed 200 new managers, and found that one of the biggest problems managers have is that their generation “doesn’t want to learn from PowerPoints”; they want to learn through taking action.

This sentiment is shared by insights firm Deloitte, who report that ‘leadership development is best acquired through experience and reflection, yet many traditional leadership training programs are unable to deliver this type of learning opportunity’. 

External support networks and innovative leadership online courses offer practical, hands-on learning that provides experiential training for new managers. Experiential learning is a growing trend in corporate training, exposing new managers to real world situations and challenges unique to the company, rather than vague, standardised problems that are not always relevant to the specific role that each manager takes. 

Leadership online courses may incorporate techniques such as simulations, case studies, role playing, sensitivity training, difficult conversations exercises, gamification, and on the job training. The overall aim of these courses is to provide new managers with an opportunity to assess their current approaches and managerial style and systematically determine which behaviours will have the greatest impact on team success and satisfaction through the ability to visualise outcomes. Through this ability to visualise impact, leadership online courses are instrumental in shaping the new generation of effective business leaders. 

These practical, hands-on, and experiential learning opportunities are somewhat of a new addition to the world of corporate training, although the concept has been around for centuries. 3rd century Chinese philosopher Xunzi is noted as saying ‘"not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing, seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting; true learning continues until it is put into action", highlighting the vital importance of learning through doing, not listening. 


Do Leadership Online Courses Work?

The State of Leadership report by Harvard Business School suggests that more than half of those questioned cited leadership online courses as having a ‘major’ and ‘positive’ impact, directly helping businesses to promote and develop skilled leaders within the organisation. Additionally, 66% of respondents said that online training courses had played a significant role in capturing a stronger market position than competitors. 

Through the hands-on approach, the reason why leadership online courses work is because they enable new managers to implement a ‘trial and error’ system during training, carrying forward the proven effective managerial styles to the working environment. This can significantly minimise errors made on the job, helping new managers to maintain a competent and professional face to both the team and the board while still having the flexibility to try new ways of working and design their style. 

Leadership online courses are designed to shape the leaders of tomorrow, like yourself, making it easy for you to carry out your job supported by a strong skills foundation. 

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