First-line leaders are the largest and arguably most important group of leaders in any organisation. The
linchpin in strategy execution, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement, they are the main driver of
business results. The first-line leader is the last stop for communicating strategy and enabling employees to
succeed. Today, the role of first-line leader is more challenging than ever due to advances in technology,
constant and increasing levels of change, and the pressure to deliver business results, often under
unprecedented cost and resource constraints.
Forum’s four decades of work with leaders at all levels in organisations and research into highly effective
leadership practices form the basis of this programme. This research shows that highly effective leaders do
many things well, but that early on they develop mastery in four foundational people-leadership areas:
- They “think like a leader”—they are strategic about where they focus effort and activity. Specifically, they
invest proportionately more time on high-value activities—those that further an organisation’s goals and
objectives. And they know that the leadership activities that enable team members to deliver are always
of highest value to organisations.
- They are great coaches—they know what each person on their team can do and needs to do, and they
are intentional about providing growth opportunities. They are adept and swift in coaching team
members who have performance problems because they understand the impact one person has on the
- They know how to deliver results—and most important, they know how to do it through their team
members, by setting effective performance objectives and delegating work to the right person at the right
time in his or her development.
- They understand the relationship between engagement and performance and know that each person’s
engagement needs are unique. They create desire in team members to contribute high levels of
discretionary energy to the organisation—a critical factor in organisational success.
Research comparing industry-leading organisations to laggards shows that leaders at all levels in leading
organisations focus to a much higher degree on these four people-leadership areas than do those in industry
laggards. Leadership Essentials enables leaders to apply the tools and practices that will allow them to
master these foundational people-leadership practices.
Leadership Essentials contains five modules:
- Introduction features a fast-paced activity that highlights the breadth of a leader’s responsibilities and
emphasises the shift in focus required for success; a review of the course framework, the Leadership
Essentials Model, including the 16 practices of highly effective leaders of people; and a self-assessment
of the practices.
- Think Like a Leader features tools to help avoid common traps to which many leaders are highly
susceptible and which keep them from succeeding; and a tool to help them shift from less- to more-
effective investments of time, energy, and personal resources.
- Coach Your Team features a tool that identifies the capabilities and developmental needs of each team
member; practices and processes to provide coaching and feedback in a variety of situations, including a
feedback framework; a coaching process for reinforcing effective performance and growth; and a
coaching process for managing performance problems.
- Get Results Through Others features a framework for setting relevant performance objectives; tools for
identifying the activities, projects, and tasks leaders should delegate to people on their team; and a
framework for effective delegation and follow-up.
- Engage People features a tool for quickly taking the “engagement temperature” of a team; an
assessment of engagement needs of individual team members; and tactics for increasing engagement
across the team.
Throughout the session, participants apply practices and tools to real work situations and identify their own
leadership development needs, planning ways to accelerate their own mastery of the leadership practices.
They leave the session with a complete Leadership Effectiveness Plan.
The audience for Leadership Essentials is for people managers as well as more experienced and/or more
senior leaders who could benefit from mastery of essential people-leadership practices.
As a result of participating in Leadership Essentials, managers will be able to:
- Apply core people-leadership practices
- Invest more effort in high-value activities that ensure success for themselves and their team members
- Coach team members to higher levels of performance
- Build the team’s capability to drive business results
- Meet the diverse engagement needs of individual team members
Leadership Essentials is a 2-day classroom programme.