Leadership Development Program

Lessons in Leadership: Learning to Lead So Others Will Follow

Course Outcomes

This leadership development program will:

  • Define leadership.
  • Discuss actions leaders take to communicate a vision and generate buy-in.
  • Offer concrete tactics for creating a motivational environment.
  • Suggest specific steps for holding people accountable.
  • Provide a framework for developing and coaching employees.
  • Discuss team dynamics, team building, and succession planning.
  • Give suggestions for presenting information formally and informally to a team.
  • Introduce strategic planning and tools for facilitating that process.

Course Overview

Lessons in Leadership: Learning to Lead So Others Will Follow is a six-month leadership development program. The course is designed for intact cohorts of between 12 and 24 people. The program addresses a range of essential leadership skills and works best when the sessions are scheduled approximately one month apart.

The course addresses such topics as leadership versus management, employee engagement, motivation, accountability, team building, employee selection, coaching, presentation skills, strategic planning, and innovation.

  • For an additional fee of $500 per person, participants can complete a leadership knowledge assessment and receive one-on-one coaching from the facilitator prior to the first session.
  • Throughout the course, the facilitator will recommend a few contemporary business titles to the cohort. For an additional fee of $100 per participant, Business Training Works will manage the ordering and fulfillment process.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Day One: Leadership Versus Management

This introductory session starts with a thorough overview of the entire program. Participants will choose an accountability partner and commit to taking action between sessions. Following that overview, the facilitator will spend the remainder of the day guiding discussions and activities around what leadership is, what it’s not, and actions leaders can take to set themselves up for success.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Articulate their responsibilities to the program.
  • Define leadership.
  • Explain the difference between management and leadership.
  • Discuss the various activities leaders undertake.
  • Identify actions that set the stage for a leader’s success.
  • Discuss a successful CEO’s approach to leading a team.
  • Set the stage for motivation and employee engagement.

Diving In: Understanding Responsibilities

This session opens with a comprehensive overview of the program and a discussion about the participants’ responsibilities throughout the course. 

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other: Leadership Versus Management

People who are great managers aren’t necessarily great leaders, and conversely, those who are strong leaders don’t always manage well. This part of the course thoroughly reviews the actions managers take versus those leaders typically drive. Once they’ve identified the different activities, the group will talk about how to accomplish various tasks. Participants will also discuss the value leaders and managers bring to an organization or a project team and why both roles are important.

A Successful CEO’s Approach: Looking at What Works

The next module in this session looks at five elements one successful CEO used to drive explosive growth in an organization: positive energy, the ability to energize others, the capacity and willingness to make tough decisions, the talent to execute, and passion for principles. After discussing those elements in general terms, participants will reflect on their own work and the actions they should take to build their strength in each area. The group will also discuss any roadblocks they face and tactics for overcoming those barriers.

A Climate of Engagement: Creating a Motivational Environment

It’s been said that while people can be made to take action, no one can make another person be motivated. Other points of view suggest the opposite: people can be motivated if their leaders zero in on the things about which they care. This program segment takes a close look at motivation and employee engagement. During this segment, participants will discover the impact engagement has on productivity and morale. They will also consider their current practices and ten specific areas where they can make decisions that can drive engagement.

Action Planning: Accountability

At the end of this session, participants will meet with their accountability partners and discuss the actions they will take during the coming weeks to leverage what they’ve learned during the day.

Day Two: Setting Expectations and Holding People Accountable

This session starts with a discussion around the actions participants have taken based on the goals they shared with their accountability partners at the close of the last session. Following that activity, the facilitator will introduce the objectives for this segment on setting expectations and holding people accountable.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Define accountability and describe what a climate of accountability looks like.
  • Explain what successful leaders do to instill a culture of accountability throughout their organizations.
  • Describe how clarity, consistency, and communication impact performance expectations.
  • Explain their role in setting a direction for their team.
  • Articulate the consequence of not holding people accountable.
  • Avoid common errors when holding people accountable.
  • Employ multiple communication channels to communicate expectations and check in.

What Did You Try?: Putting Theory into Practice

This session opens with a discussion about the actions participants implemented as a result of having taken part in the last session. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, and suggestions for overcoming obstacles.

Knowing What Drives Performance: E+A=R

Consistent results don’t happen by magic. Successful leaders know they must have a vision, define standards, clearly communicate expectations, reward good performance, and hold people accountable for their actions and the results they achieve. This session segment looks at each of those elements and how their consistent application helps to create a culture of accountability.

Setting Expectations: From Interview to Gold Watch

Too many people go to work each day without a firm understanding of what is expected of them. Their job descriptions are out of date, they never got a formal orientation, and nobody regularly checks in to see what’s working and what isn’t. While most of these folks do their best to “figure it out,” a lot of opportunity is lost. This part of the program looks at methods for systematically setting expectations and the specific actions strong leaders take to let people know what’s expected before their hired, immediately after they join a team, and throughout their tenure with the organization.

Clarity, Consistency, and Communication: Getting on the Same Page

This next segment addresses the importance of clarity, consistency, and communication throughout the accountability process. We’ll look at the consequences of ambiguity and mistakes leaders often make when delegating tasks and communicating what they expect. Through a series of case studies, participants will evaluate a range of situations and determine how they could have been avoided if the leader had consistently adhered to some basic guidelines.

Tools for Staying Connected: Picking the Right Medium

At its best, accountability is a way of life and not a one-and-done conversation. In this part of the program, we’ll look at the tools leaders can use to engage employees, check in, recognize achievement, and address shortcomings.

Action Planning: Accountability

At the end of this session, participants will meet with their accountability partners and discuss the actions they will take during the coming weeks to leverage what they’ve learned during the day.

Day Three: Building a Strong Team

This session starts with a discussion around the actions participants have taken based on the goals they shared with their accountability partners at the close of the last session. Following that activity, the facilitator will introduce the objectives for this segment on building strong teams.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the characteristics of a strong team.
  • Implement ten specific activities to strengthen a team.
  • Articulate expectations.
  • Communicate culture, vision, and mission.
  • Conduct effective meetings.
  • Address conflict.
  • Choose appropriate rewards.
  • Enforce behavior guidelines.
  • Onboard new hires.
  • Plan for retirements, resignations, and reorganizations.  

What Did You Try?: Putting Theory into Practice

This session opens with a discussion about the actions participants implemented as a result of having taken part in the last session. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, and suggestions for overcoming obstacles.

What Makes It Work: Characteristics of Strong Teams

Effective teams share some common elements, and in this part of the program, we’ll examine such activities as defining roles, leveraging strengths, sharing credit, building trust, taking risks, establishing targets, evaluating projects, generating ideas, and encouraging healthy disagreement. Participants will evaluate their current teams and identify areas in which their group is strong and points, that if strengthened, would have a measurable influence on the team’s performance.

Members Only: Choosing Well

Many an organization has hired anybody instead of the right body. Although some have gotten lucky, many who settled quickly realize their decision making could have been better. This part of the program looks at the ins and outs of employee selection and how to interview both internal and external candidates for membership on a team. During this segment, we’ll also talk about the process of welcoming new members and integrating them into the team.

Rules of the Pool: Establishing Norms

When team norms and expectations aren’t discussed and agreed to, at some point someone is going to be disappointed, disconnected, unhappy, or worse. In this session segment, we’ll talk about the importance of establishing a team mission, vision, and values, and choosing operating standards. Next, we’ll talk about what to do when members fail to follow the rules.

Come Together: Getting the Most Out of Meetings

Most employees dread meetings. Why? They’re forced to sit through bad ones. When run well, meetings can connect people with purpose, encourage collaboration, drive decisions, and play a part in developing future leaders. This part of the program introduces best practices for getting the most out of group gatherings and actions leaders can take to make their meetings work to their full potential.

Celebrate Good Times: Weaving a Team’s Fabric

Smart leaders know the importance of workplace comradery, and they make opportunities for their people to get to know each other. In this session segment, we’ll look at activities that foster healthy workplace relationships.

Healthy Disagreements: Conflict Resolution

Few things are more uncomfortable than unresolved conflicts, passive-aggressive behavior, or downright aggressive actions among employees. Strong leaders know how to surface conflict and navigate disagreements professionally and in a way that helps team members reach a healthy resolution. This portion of the program addresses workplace conflict and best practices for addressing disagreements on a team.

Action Planning: Accountability

At the end of this session, participants will meet with their accountability partners and discuss the actions they will take during the coming weeks to leverage what they’ve learned during the day.

Day Four: Coaching for Results

This session starts with a discussion around the actions participants have taken based on the goals they shared with their accountability partners at the close of the last session. Following that activity, the facilitator will introduce the objectives for this segment on listening and coaching skills.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Define coaching and explain its importance in leading others.
  • Differentiate coaching from counseling.
  • Explain how nonverbal communication influences the coaching process.
  • Describe how timing affects coaching outcomes.
  • Demonstrate the value of questions.
  • Reframe and summarize conversations.
  • Follow the C.O.A.C.H. model for developing employees.

What Did You Try?: Putting Theory into Practice

This session opens with a discussion about the actions participants implemented as a result of having taken part in the last session. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, and suggestions for overcoming obstacles.

What and Why?: The Value of Coaching

Our next module introduces the day’s topic: coaching. Participants will define coaching, discuss its value in the workplace, and decide how it differs from counseling. They will also determine how they’ve personally benefited from coaching throughout their careers and how they could leverage coaching to develop their teams.

Getting the Recipe Right: Coaching’s Ingredients

Successful leaders understand good coaching follows a recipe. These people know that a few bad choices can quickly turn a constructive conversation in the wrong direction. In this session segment, we’ll look at such best practices as setting up a coaching plan, choosing an appropriate location, providing employees with a framework and defining a meeting’s purpose, asking good questions, and documenting goals.

How and When: The Part That’s Art

Once participants have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of coaching, we’ll discuss language, body language, and timing – three elements that work together to produce a successful outcome.

Follow the Roadmap: The C.O.A.C.H. Model in Action

In this part of the program, the facilitator will introduce the C.O.A.C.H. model and explain why having a system or framework helps a coach stay on task. Next, the group will revisit the case studies they originally discussed on day two. Working in teams, they will decide how they as leaders would leverage coaching to address the situations presented. Following that exercise, participants will identify someone they need to coach and plan a future coaching meeting.

Action Planning: Accountability

At the end of this session, participants will meet with their accountability partners and discuss the actions they will take during the coming weeks to leverage what they’ve learned during the day.

Day Five: Credible Presentations

This session starts with a discussion around the actions participants have taken based on the goals they shared with their accountability partners at the close of the last session. Following that activity, the facilitator will introduce the objectives for this segment on crafting and delivering effective presentations.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain why presentation skills are important for leaders to master.
  • Conduct an audience analysis.
  • Isolate a key message and make a case for it.
  • Leverage stories, statistics, props, and illustrations.
  • Avoid common public speaking mistakes.
  • Practice tactics for reducing nervousness or fear.

What Did You Try?: Putting Theory into Practice

This session opens with a discussion about the actions participants implemented as a result of having taken part in the last session. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, and suggestions for overcoming obstacles.

Why Present?: The Reason to Hone Your Skills

Communication skills and the ability to speak confidently in front of others are essential components of effective leadership. People with strong presentation skills have the ability to identify a message, choose strong supporting evidence, and make a case for action. This part of the program examines presentation skills as a tool for influencing others. 

What Audiences Want: Filling the Need

In this session segment, we’ll talk about audiences – who they are and what they want from a speaker. Participants will think about a group to whom they could present and then work through a presentation planning worksheet. Next, we’ll discuss how this type of careful planning is important to effective leading. In other words, strong leaders are thoughtful. While many certainly can “wing it,” few do.

Compelling Communicating: Leveraging Tools

Stories, statistics, illustrations, analogies, and props are some of the tools leaders use to get their point across. This part of the program explores each of these options and provides examples of how leaders can leverage them to drive home a point, generate buy-in, and inspire others to take action.

Step on Up: Practice on the Platform

In this part of the program, participants will have an opportunity to practice their platform skills and receive coaching from the facilitator and members of the cohort. They will select a topic from the course and design and deliver a short presentation about its value and how they’ve benefited from implementing new practices.

Action Planning: Accountability

At the end of this session, participants will meet with their accountability partners and discuss the actions they will take during the coming weeks to leverage what they’ve learned during the day.

Day Six: Strategic Planning and Creative Problem Solving

This session starts with a discussion around the actions participants have taken based on the goals they shared with their accountability partners at the close of the last session. Following that activity, the facilitator will introduce the learning objectives for this segment focused on creative problem solving and strategic planning.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain basic terminology used in strategic thinking.
  • Differentiate goals, strategy, and tactics.
  • Craft a strategy map that outlines tactics for achieving the larger objective.
  • Articulate the value of creative thinking in the problem-solving process.
  • Explain how a leader can drive innovation by encouraging creativity.
  • Practice a range of ideation techniques.
  • Methodically evaluate ideas.

What Did You Try?: Putting Theory into Practice

This session opens with a discussion about the actions participants implemented as a result of having taken part in the last session. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, and suggestions for overcoming obstacles.

Strategic Thinking: Understanding What It Is and Its Value

In this part of the program, participants will consider strategic thinking and its necessity for effectively leading. We’ll discuss common terminology and introduce a framework for establishing objectives, choosing a strategy, and identifying tactics for realizing the desired results.

Innovation: Driving Continuous Improvement

This session segment explores innovation and the practice of driving continuous improvement. During this part of the program, participants will discuss how leaders can create a climate conducive to innovation and the importance of allowing for a certain level of risk-taking. We’ll also discuss the value of challenging employees to look for fresh approaches to old problems and the importance of choosing a learning lens when framing failure.

Ideation Tools: Generating Ideas

In this course component, the facilitator will introduce a range of ideation tools: random stimulation, celebrity consultant, cross-pollination, clean slate, the rules, and others. Participants will practice applying each to a current leadership challenge or workplace problem. 

Evaluation: “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe”

Some ideas lead to innovation breakthroughs, and others lead nowhere or worse. The key is understanding that quantity usually leads to quality. Once a lot of ideas are on the table, the next step is determining the winners. This part of the course introduces four methods for evaluating ideas and five formats from which leaders can choose to make decisions.

Action Planning: Final Thoughts

At the end of this session, participants will share what they learned from the program, how they will use it, and their plans for continuing their development.

Available Formats

  • Multi-Day Training Course

Onsite Training Course Reminders

Our instructor-led training courses are available to private groups.  These workshops are not offered in a public seminar format.  Please contact us to speak with a facilitator about your needs and bringing training to your organization.

We offer training in the following US states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We also travel to Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Central America, Continental Europe, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

Please contact us about your location.

Onsite Workshops