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Seb Anthony

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Self directed learning and leadership training


Has anyone used self directed learning to develop a leadership program.We are currently looking at a leadership program for our managers.
We agree that people learn better on the job,however how do you tie the individual learning to the organisation need.
Dermot Kelly

3 Responses

  1. Self directed learning
    I have found this a very useful concept in relation to leadership training – but it is not the whole story.

    It is too easy for leadership to become a theoretical exercise – and nothing then changes back in the workplace.

    Look for a programme which relates to the reality in which people will be using their leadership skills. As participant awareness rises the self directed learning kicks in. This has a good chance of making a real impact.

  2. Business-results focussed
    First of all the business needs to confirm the direction it’s going and what it requires of its leaders.

    From this you should be able to determine the key leadership competencies/skills/knowledge required and what success looks like for each of these – in terms of the business.

    Some form of self-assessment/360-degree surveying should identify the gaps.

    The leaders-in-training could then select the most appropriate (pre-mapped) self directed learning “objects”, but also select the most appropriate “traditional” training programmes, where perhaps self-directed may not be the most appropriate method.

    The key is to offer self-directed learning that concentrates on where the greatest leverage is possible, as this will represent the best investment of scare resources.

  3. anchor learning in the real world!
    In support of previous comments I would just echo that I have seen some real successes with self-directed learning at leadership level especially if accompanied with practical peer support. Too often however, I see these programmes develop something (a project for instance) on which to practice new skills as they develop, without seeking to use real business issues and initiatives on which to anchor the learning – a wasted opportunity in my eyes and a hindrance/distraction in some cases. E-mail me on if you would like to talk further.


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