Leadership development program - useful? Which influence/impact have leadership development programs had to your development as a leader?
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This is a quantitative study where the main objective was to find out which influence/impact leadership development programs have had for leaders’ development. The basis was different theories within leadership development, leadership, gender differences in leadership, selfawareness, culture and honeymoon effect, reflection and conflict management. The data was gathered though a questionnaire deployed in six municipalities and leaders participating at the Masters of management, NTNU. There were 57 leaders that completed the questionnaire, where 41 had attended different leadership development programs. The statistical findings indicate that there was no impact and that attending a leadership development program does not necessarily make you a better leader. Statements from attending leaders and weaknesses that follow a small research sample contradict this finding. The experiences leaders have had from attending a leadership development program have been that they are given time to focus on leadership and themselves as a leader. There are indications of increased skills of reflection and increase in self-awareness in leaders that have had an effect. There are indications on why some leadership development programs are more successful than others, and what is important for having an impact on the organization. The culture and willingness to be a learning organization is the foundation for achieving changes learnt through a leadership development program. Who you participate with is also a key for lasting effect. Ideal is a mix of leader colleagues and leaders from other organizations, so there is a broad range of experiences to be used in knowledge exchange. To achieve change in an organization all leaders have to attend a program, long lasting effects cannot be made by one single leader attending a leadership development program.