C-Suite Network™

How to Identify the Best Candidates for Leadership Training

Leadership training programs offer your organization many important benefits, including:

  • A cost-effective and efficient way to fill your top jobs by promoting excellent performers from within your organization.
  • A powerful motivator that encourages your most talented managers to stay in your company for the long term.
  • An opportunity to create a strong cross-functional leadership team of individuals who bring extensive experience from different sectors of your organization.

Those are all important reasons to invest in leadership training. But before you start to design a leadership training program, let’s take a step back and ask an important preliminary question . . .

How can you select the best candidates to take part in your leadership training?

In a Breakthrough Ideas in Training webinar for Tortal Training Dr. Keith Halperin, Senior Partner at Korn Ferry, outlined these four “leadership dimensions” that should influence your choice of trainees and your training goals.

Experience – For the Korn Ferry leadership consulting team, experience is part of a process. Dr. Halperin and his team identify the most critical experiences that a company’s leaders have had in the past. They then create training that exposes leadership trainees to those same experiences.

Traits – These are specific competencies that leaders need in order to be successful in your organization. Identifying them requires study of your current leaders. Do they have experience doing business internationally, for example? Are they keen marketers, communicators, financial analysts, or something else? Once you have a fuller picture of key traits, you can select the strongest candidates and design training that cultivates the traits that they will need as they move into leadership positions.

Drivers – “Leading is hard work that takes energy and passion,” Dr. Halperin told the webinar. Before selecting candidates for leadership training, it is important to evaluate whether they really have the drive to want to handle the challenges of top leadership positions, or whether they’ll take your training just because it’s the next step up the ladder.

Competencies – Competencies are abilities that leaders are capable of developing. In his webinar, Dr. Halperin cited “Learning Agility” as one of the most important; it means a person’s ability to move into unknown situations, adjust to uncertainty, and understand what needs to be done. Learning agility also means the ability to learn lessons from past experiences that apply to new situations. Other competencies can include the abilities to earn trust, lead change and create a culture of innovation.

About Evan Hackel

Evan Hackel is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and principal and founder of Ingage Consulting. He is the host of Training Unleashed podcast, and author of the book Ingaging Leadership. Evan speaks on Seeking Excellence, Better Together, Ingaging Leadership, and Attitude is Everything. To hire Evan as a speaker, visit evanhackelspeaks.com and follow Evan on Twitter @ehackel.

Evan Hackel

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