Business Leadership Today

The Top Leadership Development Programs for Companies and the Public Sector


Muriel Call, Staff Writer

The leaders of today are the visionaries who shape the future of their organizations, steering them toward growth and prosperity. However, the path to effective leadership is not innate but learned, honed, and perfected over time.

Ralph Nader once said, “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” Yet, too often, companies fail to invest in leadership development to ensure a pipeline of skilled, qualified leaders who are prepared to lead their teams into the future. 

While there may be concerns about the time and financial commitments associated with leadership development, companies should view these as an investment rather than a cost. 

Given the pivotal role that effective leadership plays in the long-term success of any organization, the benefits derived from leadership development programs far outweigh the initial investment. 

These programs develop individuals’ leadership skills and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, driving innovation and growth within the company. Investing in leadership development is not only beneficial but essential for any forward-thinking organization.

Leadership development programs help companies refine raw leadership talent into a force capable of navigating the business world. They equip leaders with skills such as strategic thinking, decision-making, team building, communication, and emotional intelligence.

In this article, we will explore leadership development programs and present our top five picks for companies. We will also discuss programs tailored to address the specific challenges of the public sector. Each program has been selected for its comprehensive curriculum, innovative teaching methods, and proven track record of producing exceptional leaders.

Top 5 Leadership Development Programs for Companies

1. Achievers from Bell Leadership Institute

The Achievers program offered by the Bell Leadership Institute is a transformative cornerstone in leadership development. It assists leaders by providing a comprehensive understanding of their personal strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. 

The program utilizes the Achiever Model, a unique framework designed to help leaders recognize and implement highly effective leadership techniques. A key component of the program is the Bell Personality Profile, a confidential 360-degree assessment providing insight into a leader’s style from various viewpoints. 

The program is focused on helping leaders develop practical skills necessary to positively impact people at all levels of an organization. It aims to equip them with a high self-IQ and healthy confidence in their leadership and team-influencing abilities.

2. PeopleThriver

PeopleThriver offers a unique approach to leadership development. It focuses on creating high-performance workplace cultures and improving the well-being and growth of managers and team members. 

The program incorporates micro-training synchronized with employee feedback to facilitate lasting behavior changes, making it convenient for busy leaders. This real-time feedback loop enables continuous improvement in leadership practices. 

PeopleThriver claims a 300% return on investment, highlighting its potential effectiveness in driving organizational success. With its comprehensive leadership development program, PeopleThriver is a notable choice for organizations looking to boost their leadership capabilities.

3. Development Dimensions International (DDI)

DDI is a global leadership development and human resources consulting firm impacting over 2,500 organizations each year. DDI’s leadership solutions are based on scientific principles and are known to bring about significant change in leaders’ behaviors. 

DDI offers courses on topics such as change agility, coaching, career development, and talent engagement, designed to be flexible and engaging. In addition to courses, DDI provides assessments, behavioral interviewing, and succession management as part of its comprehensive leadership development program. 

Their approach emphasizes producing measurable change in leaders’ behavior. This focus on impactful, science-based leadership development makes DDI a compelling choice for companies seeking to invest in their leaders’ growth.

4. BTS

BTS is a global professional services organization specializing in the people side of strategy. For over three decades, they have been designing experiences intended to have a lasting impact on businesses and their people. 

Their leadership development programs focus on mindset shifts and practicing critical moments to develop leaders who can adapt to change, connect to teams, meet their team members’ needs, see the bigger picture, and leave a strong legacy and sound strategies for the next generation. 

BTS leverages new and existing technology to deliver content seamlessly across any modality. Their programs are highly customized, practical, and offer a clear return on investment, making BTS a preferred choice for many of the world’s leading companies.

5. Dale Carnegie Training

Dale Carnegie Training is a professional development organization known for offering a comprehensive program focused on improving decision-making skills. 

The program is designed to assist individuals and organizations in navigating the complexities of decision-making, covering aspects such as problem analysis, evaluation of alternatives, and risk assessment. It emphasizes the importance of involving the right people and resources and simplifying even the toughest decisions. 

Dale Carnegie’s decision-making course emphasizes practical application, helping participants develop their creative thinking and leadership abilities. This approach to decision-making training has made Dale Carnegie a highly respected organization and preferred option for people and companies since its establishment in 1912. 

Leadership Development Programs for the Public Sector

The public sector and businesses face different issues, but effective leadership is important for both. 

Public sector leaders have unique challenges in making strategic, business-oriented decisions. While programs like PeopleThriver can be easily adapted for both sectors, there are also leadership development programs specifically designed for the public sector.

Strategy Execution for Public Leadership at Harvard 

The program, overseen by Eric Rosenbach, former United States Pentagon Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, aims to assist leaders in developing strategies for successful public leadership. 

It emphasizes the enhancement of strategic thinking, preparation for long-term success, the establishment of a culture of consistency, and the development of strategic communications, and it is designed to provide an immersive experience, incorporating real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations.

Government Leadership Training at CCL 

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) provides customizable one-day to five-day programs that can be tailored to fit your organization’s needs. These programs are designed to deliver practical and impactful leadership development, with a focus on providing a tangible return on investment. 

They are recognized for their ability to enhance leadership skills by introducing new strategies and work approaches, empowering individuals to improve decision-making.

National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH)

The NLAPH is a one-year applied leadership program supported by the CDC, bringing together leaders from multiple sectors to improve population health and advance health equity. 

The program includes blended learning, an applied health leadership project, web-based resources, a webinar series, a leadership retreat, coaching support, and peer networking. NLAPH helps teams address pressing public health issues to create lasting change.

Choosing the Right Program

It’s important to carefully consider your individual needs and circumstances when choosing a leadership development program. This means understanding your strengths and weaknesses to identify areas for improvement. 

You should also take practical factors like budget and time constraints into account, as these can greatly impact the type of program you can realistically pursue.

It’s also important to understand that leadership requirements can vary significantly depending on your field and your organization’s needs. 

For example, the challenges and expectations faced by leaders in the private sector may be quite different from those in the public sector. The ideal leadership development program for a corporate executive might not be the same as for a government official.

With a wide range of options available, there’s certain to be a suitable program for everyone. Whether you’re an experienced leader looking to hone your skills or a new professional seeking foundational leadership training, there’s a program out there that can meet your specific needs and help you achieve your leadership goals. 

The key is to choose a program that aligns with your personal and professional growth objectives.

Muriel Call

Muriel Call

Staff Writer / Editor

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