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Leadership Development, Career Success, NSLS Blog

4 Components of a Successful Leadership Development Program

If you're looking for a leadership development program, you've already taken a key first step by having the intent to lead. Instead of allowing fear, imposter syndrome, or any number of factors to interfere with your goals, you're ready to tackle them.

Choosing the right leadership development program will help maximize your leadership potential. But what makes a good leadership development program that truly has your success in mind? Furthermore, what should a leadership development program include? When choosing the right program, look for these key components.

How to Choose a Leadership Development Program

Focus on soft skills (human skills)

Employers are looking for future leaders who will help grow their organization and inspire others. Soft skills, AKA human skills, make that happen.

What are soft skills? They're the skills that connect people and foster collaboration. According to LinkedIn's 2019 Global Talent Trends report, 89 percent of recruiters say when a hire doesn't work out, it usually comes down to a lack of soft skills.

Those skills include:

  • Communication

  • Attitude

  • Conflict resolution

  • Teamwork

  • Emotional intelligence

The human skills that employers particularly look for are decision making and problem solving. In fact, 86 percent of employers say they want to see evidence of problem solving on an applicant's resume.

Career Resources That Give You an Edge

The heart of any good leadership development program will be training that drives your success forward. Though you'll want to find a program with educational outlets designed to make you stand out in the workplace, sometimes you just need an extra leg up with effective career resources.

Leadership development programs should be advocating for your success in several ways beyond skill-building. This includes:

  • Resume enhancement services

  • Letters of recommendation

  • Mentorship and success coaching

  • Job boards and internship opportunities

By pairing strategic soft skills development and career resources, leadership development programs demonstrate that they care about your future success. You can't have one without the other.

Networking Opportunities and a Sense of Community

Personal success usually comes from team collaboration. Working well with others is not only an important soft skill to have so you can grow in your career, but it’s also a key ingredient to network effectively.

You want to find a leadership development program that provides an avenue for you to meet others on a regular basis, virtually or in-person. With networking opportunities, you will:

  • Become part of a larger community.

  • Meet like minded people to collaborate with.

  • Hear about job openings you may have missed otherwise.

Most of all, you'll become part of a team. When working with others, you'll be more inspired to succeed, passionate about achieving your goals, and more energized as you pursue them.

Social Proof and Legitimacy

You always want to do your due diligence with things you buy or services you use. The same principle applies to choosing a leadership development program.

Start by looking at reviews. What are people saying? Are they satisfied with the outcome of their leadership training? Ensure the program you are researching has a robust community built on positive feedback.

Other things to ask when researching leadership development programs include:

Take your time, do your research, and choose a leadership development program that is held to a high standard.

How the NSLS Leadership Development Program Sets Members up for Success

The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) lives by a simple mission of building leaders who make a better world. To achieve that, we're always improving and optimizing our program incorporating these key aspects:

  • Improving soft skills or human skills through leadership development training.

  • Providing a range of career resources and networking opportunities.

  • Focusing on team- and community-building as a core principle.

  • Ensuring legitimacy through adherence to accreditation guidelines.

We've earned the distinction of being the only accredited leadership honor society in the nation by consistently delivering the highest quality leadership programming and we’re acknowledged by several national accreditation agencies.

By holding ourselves to a high standard and offering members a range of career benefits, our leadership development program allows students and professionals to advance in their careers and make a positive impact on the world.

For a deep dive into all things leadership, check out The Science of Leadership articles that connect cutting-edge leadership research to the real world.