Some people just seem like natural-born leaders. Many of us look at seemingly effortless and fearless leaders and think, “could I ever be like this person,” and “can leadership be taught?”
Leadership can be, and is very often, taught and learned, and mastered over time. A study conducted by researchers at Villanova University and published by the Academy of Management Learning Education indicates that while some personality traits that reach stability early in a person’s life can establish a frame upon which leadership skills can be built, “these frames can change, and individuals can learn to view things differently.” In other words, leadership can be taught, developed, and honed. This is great news for organizations that have attracted top talent, and are ready to help their employees transform into the next generation of C-Suite executives.
Modern executives have the opportunity to polish their skills through leadership training. Interested in learning more? Keep reading to uncover an introduction to the theory and science behind investing in leadership training for intelligent leadership.
What is Intelligent Leadership?
Intelligent leadership isn’t about the pedigree of your education, how high your grades were, or whether you got an MBA. It has little to do with your IQ score, in fact, and maybe even less to do with the seniority you hold at your firm. If leadership is defined by the willingness and ability to lead people, then intelligent leaders are those who can expertly connect with, inspire, motivate, and activate others. Intelligent leadership is characterized by a few core competencies that center around social skills, including empathy, compassion, emotional intelligence, and positivity. Just like any skills, soft skills can be learned.
Developing Intelligent Leadership
Developing intelligent leadership takes years of trial and error, honing and refining our skills, and failing forwards. It can be taught through experience, mentorship, and guided, focused training from people who have learned tough lessons themselves. There are seven dimensions of intelligent leadership, all of which can be developed through training.
- Thinking differently and thinking big
- Expertly deciding when to be vulnerable
- Having a mindset of duty versus a mindset of entitlement
- Leveraging your gifts and addressing your gaps
- Having the courage to execute with pride, passion, and precision
- Knowing how and when to course correct
- Being and remaining vigilant
If you’re interested in learning more about the seven dimensions of intelligent leadership, check out The Intelligent Leader. In this book, leaders are guided through all seven dimensions using a variety of real-world examples, tools, and assessments: all items to help you develop intelligent leadership skills that stick. Ranked the number one best new management book of 2019, you can get a copy of The Intelligent Leader on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or wherever books are sold.
Intelligent Leadership Training for Executives
Craving the kind of hands-on intelligent leadership training that goes beyond lessons you can learn from a book? The answer for your organization may be longer-term executive training and development sessions with an expert who’s been at the helm of a Fortune 500 company himself or herself. In-person training might involve shadowing executives as they conduct meetings, deliver presentations, and interact with others throughout the organization. Providing one-on-one mentorship and near-immediate feedback can quickly transform a budding executive with great potential into a truly intelligent leader.
Building Self-Awareness through Executive Training
Self-awareness is one of the most critical aspects of leadership, but as with many soft and social skills, it’s easily overlooked. Executive training builds and supports social awareness in a growing leader by helping them accurately identify their strengths and gaps. Training can also help leaders pause to reflect on their points of view, decisions, and actions, as well as those of others. As they are trained to look at their own emotions methodically, searching for the reasons for their thoughts, words, and actions, self-awareness becomes the by-product.
Once self-awareness is developed, it’s like a gift that keeps on giving. An awareness of oneself helps shape interactions with others, including employees, coworkers, and clients. Once a leader has become in-tune with his or herself, they can begin to understand others. And we can’t truly and effectively lead others until we understand them, their goals, motivations, and desired outcomes.
Experience Intelligent Leadership Training at Your Organization with IL Movement
We believe in changing the world, one leader and one coach at a time. Executive coaching is a critical tool in helping leaders discover their strengths, wisdom, and intelligence, and putting it to work in their organizations.
At IL Movement, we offer in-house leadership training ranging from 6-month to year-long (and longer) assignments; we also provide corporate leadership retreats, online coaching academy access, and much, much more. We know that your executives are busy, and we intend to meet them where they are so that they can access the kind of transformational leadership change that will benefit your organization for decades to come. If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to develop intelligent leadership in your business,