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Leaders are Made and not Born!
The old saying “Leaders are born” does not hold good anymore. In this pace-packed and technology-laced world, everything can be made and invented. And so are leaders. The numerous college graduate Leadership Development Programs promise a leader even from introverts and those finding solace in a world of their own.
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What are Leadership Development Programs?
Of all the desires of young budding students, just out of college, particularly those who pursue management courses, the foremost one is to lead than to be led. Though some may have the fire to be a leader and some aspire to be a one. And those who do not have these qualities burn midnight oil to fulfill their wish.
College graduate Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) are meant to identify those hidden capabilities of students, which they are unaware of. They tone their leadership skills and provide them a direction, increase their confidence level and also help in preparing themselves to facing the adverse circumstances they may come across during their job.
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Why Leadership Development Programs?
A well-known quote goes as, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t do, manage. Those who can’t manage, consult. Those who can’t consult, teach”. This applies to leadership skills also. Not everyone is blessed with leadership qualities. The normal college degrees impart only the theoretical knowledge of a subject. These educational programs do encourage self-discipline and self-motivation. However, they lag behind in development of actual personality traits required in a job. The present-day graduates do have a lot of technical skills but they lack in leadership qualities necessary to develop people. All this reiterates the need for a separate Leadership Development Program.
A study conducted by The Business Week in year 2007 showed a list of skills that 95 well known companies of the world desired in college graduates joining them. Out of these skills, large number of companies strongly recommended the presence of leadership skills apart from their college degrees. Another study conducted by DDI in 2008 showed companies want the following leadership skills to be present in new appointees in order of their preference:
- Capability to motivate a team
- Ability to overcome cultural barriers’
- Act smartly in tough situations
- Ability to formulate strategies, both long term and short term
- Professional Ethics’
- Technical knowledge
The above clearly shows team motivation is the most important criteria for a leader. LDPs help in inculcating these skills and traits in young graduates in tandem with other interpersonal skills. Another most important thing which these programs teach is ability to handle complex situations at ease and with intelligence.
Most of these programs teach students practical aspects about human resources, their development and management covering the way to get things done from others. Besides this, practical aspects of complex subjects like Quality Management, Marketing, Even Accounts/Finance, IT sector etc. are also taught. All of these are bound to enhance the professional expertise of a person who is entirely new to the job industry. Some of these programs even provide internship training in high-profile organizations. For this reason, a student who undergoes this training shall be prepared both mentally and professionally to face the competitive world that awaits him.
 What drives our greatest leaders? July 17, 2007. Available at http://www.businessweek.com/careers/content/jul2007/ca20070717_364442.htm.%20Accessed%20on%209th%20July, 2010
 Go Magazine, Spring 2008 edition. Available at http://www.ddiworld.com/pdf/GOMagazine_Spring2008_ddi.pdf.%20Accessed%20on%209th%20July, 2010.