Development managers have long held a position of importance within successful organizations, providing employees with the training they need to excel in their positions.
But what about employees at or near the top of the corporate ladder?
The fast-changing, technology-driven workplace requires those in executive and management positions to have the training in the latest innovations, as well as in the techniques and skills needed to hone their leadership skills.
That’s where leadership development managers come in. Specialists within the training and development field, they focus on making those at the management and executive level as prepared as possible for success in a leadership role.
Leadership Development Job Duties
The leadership development process is defined as providing those in organizational leadership positions the opportunities, training and experience to expand their knowledge and improve their skills.
The overall job duty of a leadership development manager is to facilitate that process.
Many organizations, particularly larger ones, invest annually in leadership development programs. The manager of these programs develops training classes as well as experiences that help leaders develop in key areas.
A leadership development manager focuses on:
- Assessing various training and development options and making recommendations on which to use
- Aligning leadership training with an organization’s overall business goals
- Overseeing the budget for training and development
- Preparing instructors for in-house training, working with outside vendors when outsourcing training
- Consistently evaluating training and development materials to ensure they are as up-to-date as possible
Leadership development is a crucial role for an organization. Leadership development managers are in the vanguard of positive change for a business, as well as ensuring that a company does not fall behind the latest in technology and innovative strategies.
Working hand-in-hand with executives, leadership development managers also seek to create programs that bolster some of the core attributes of leadership.
This can include a wide range of issues, including communication skills, defining and focusing on goals, developing long range strategies and understanding traits of strong leaders.
Those traits can include empathy, active listening, trustworthiness, modeling behavior for the rest of the company, decisiveness, conflict resolution skills, negotiating skills, confidence and creativity.
Another key use of leadership development is in succession training – preparing an organization’s future leaders for their roles in the company.
Education, Salary and Job Growth
Becoming a development manager typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree, with many companies favoring those with a master’s degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Those who want to move into training a company’s present and future leaders are more likely to need a master’s degree.
Various paths can be taken. A bachelor degree often is earned in human resources or within a specific field, such as finance or business administration. Master’s degrees are available in a variety of specialties, including organizational leadership and human resources.
The median annual pay for a leadership development manager was $109,114 in May 2017, according to Salary.com. The annual salary range for those surveyed fell between about $94,000 and $125,000. Those in the top 10% of the profession made more than $141,000 a year.
While the BLS does not project job numbers specifically for those who go into leadership training, the overall projection for training and development managers calls for a 7% increase in the number of jobs between 2014 and 2024.