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Why leadership development is still important

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Why leadership development is still important

Sue Alderson discusses why leadership development is still important and how organisations and leaders need to ensure training is up to date across all leadership teams. Sue is Programme Director at the University of Huddersfield’s new Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre, set to launch in January 2021.

As a leader you may feel that you have reached the top of your game and that your leadership team’s performance is ticking along fine, however, yours and your team’s personal and professional development is still important and shouldn’t just grind to a halt, especially during these challenging times.

2021 is fast approaching and now is a good time to invest in developing your leadership skills and those of your team to ensure you are well-equipped with whatever challenges and opportunities the new year will bring.

What makes a great leader?

A great leader makes a successful organisation by developing and executing a strategy, achieving organisation-wide goals, as well as seeking innovative ways to accelerate the growth and success of the enterprise.

Great leaders are typically great listeners as well as strategic and creative thinkers, bringing new ideas into action. They have the ability to help a team understand complex and sometimes ambiguous ideas, are passionate and empathetic and can inspire and motivate employees to achieve goals and perform better.

It is important that all leaders, no matter what stage they are in their careers, should find ways to improve their leadership skills to maximise their own potential, as well as the potential of their team. Benefits of enhancing leadership skills include:

  • an ability to deliver on the organisation’s strategy and goals,
  • career growth,
  • enhanced productivity,
  • achieving greater results through others,
  • delivering sustainable growth,
  • building more confidence,
  • and personal satisfaction.


Reviewing leadership skills

2020 has been a challenging year for many, but it has also given many leaders and organisations the opportunity to take time-out and re-evaluate processes and working practices in order to improve productivity and effectiveness.

Now is a good time to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily working life and carry out a leadership stocktake to evaluate objectively the effectiveness of your team, as well as your own leadership and its impact.

Consider what the strengths and weaknesses are of your team and whether there are any skills gaps that need to be filled. Find out what their ambitions are and consider ways to fulfil them. This may be in the form of assigning new projects that might be out of their comfort zones or looking at personal development opportunities to upskill them.

It may be that you and your team need an extra boost of support due to the challenges of the recent global pandemic, that has put many stresses and strains on leaders and employees as they navigate through the uncertain times.

Investing in relevant learning and development, for you as a leader or the wider leadership team, can help boost confidence, fill any skills gaps, and increase motivation that will filter through to other employees within the organisation.

Remember it is never too late to enhance your professional development no matter how far up the career ladder you are.

New Leadership Centre at the 3M BIC

In January 2021, the University of Huddersfield will launch its new Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre, based at the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre in Huddersfield.  It will offer organisations the opportunity to review the effectiveness of their leadership. Leadership development consultants are on hand to support you to identify areas of vulnerability within your team and advise on steps to improve and fill in any skills gaps.

The Sir George Buckley Leadership Centre will also be offering Level 5 and Level 7 CMI programmes that are designed to strengthen leadership skills for both managers and senior leaders. Programmes are complemented by leading-edge global insight from the Huddersfield Business School, combined with the practical application of learning, enhanced self-awareness, peer group networks and a specific organisation–based leadership project.

For more details on The University of Huddersfield Leadership Centre’s programmes or to register your interest, contact Maisie Mountcastle at

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