How to Join Leadership Development Programs

One Methods:External Leadership Development Programs

Leadership development has become important in large corporations and small organizations. Businesses find that grooming leaders within their own ranks is more beneficial than looking for top talent outside of the company. While leadership development programs are often an easy target for companies looking to save money, some businesses provide their own in-house programs for promising staff with leadership potential. Others choose to take advantage of programs run by nonprofit organizations and top business schools such as Harvard and the University of Michigan. Join a leadership development program by assessing where you are in your career, and evaluating different internal and external programs to find the one that will best fit you and your career goals.

Steps

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    Determine what you are looking for in a leadership development program.
    • Use a leadership development program to take your career to the next level if you have been in your profession for some time, and you want to become a manager or director.
    • Find a program that recruits promising students right out of school if you are preparing to graduate. Many business and financial leadership programs recruit MBA students.
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    Research program requirements. Make sure you are eligible for the types of leadership development programs you want to pursue. Some will require a certain number of years of experience or a particular degree.
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    Talk to your supervisor or mentor about your leadership goals. You will need support from your current employer, especially if recommendations are necessary to get into a program.
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    Pay attention to costs. Some leadership development programs can cost as much as college tuition.
    • Find out if your company will pay for your leadership development program.
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    Choose a program that seems like a good fit for you and your career goals.
    • Gather the necessary application materials and pay attention to deadlines.
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    Look into any development programs provided by your company. Organizations such as Walt Disney Co. and Marsh & McLennan Companies offer their own internal leadership development programs.
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    Make sure the internal program will provide the breadth of experience and leadership training that you need. If you expect to leave your current organization in the near future, or you are looking for a career change, consider an external program instead.
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    Talk to Human Resources, corporate trainers, or others in your company who manage the leadership program. They can help you apply.
    • Ask if you would be an ideal candidate for the program. Some companies look for particular qualities in their potential leaders, and others open the leadership doors to all staff.
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    Discuss the program with colleagues who have completed it. This will help you understand the program's strengths and challenges, as well as what people in your company gained from it.

External Leadership Development Programs

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    Seek opportunities with external programs with organizations that focus on providing leadership training. Such groups include the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Leadership IQ, and PDI Ninth House.
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    Consider attending a development program at a well-known university. Schools such as Harvard, University of Michigan, Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford provide leadership development courses for executives and mid-career professionals.
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    Find a program that is structured to support the industry you work in and your career goals. For example, if you are interested in nonprofit leadership, look for a program that is run by nonprofit leaders. If you are interested in advancing your marketing or finance career, look for a program hosted by a business school.
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    Get internal support for your goals. If your leadership development program includes travel or a lot of time away, you will need to convince your supervisor that the work of your department will not suffer.
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    Consider alternative programs that can be taken online. Leadership IQ provides teleconference and webinars in addition to in-person training courses.

Tips

  • Prepare for intensive study. If you have not been in a school setting for a while, the study might take some getting used to. There will be a lot of reading, and you will be required to participate in projects, research papers and group discussions.

Article Info

Categories: Leadership and Mentoring