Specialized training is an important part of building leaders and developing leadership skills.

You may have specialized technical experience, great people skills, or have been trained in skills that are specific to a particular career field.

Maybe you are great at getting people to work together. Maybe you have a charisma that gives power to every word you say.

It is specialized training, designed to develop job specific skills and expertise, that helps one leader stand out among the pack.

How Some Leaders Standout

As a leader, specialized training is what differentiates you from everyone else.

Some leaders have multiple areas of expertise, some have many years of experience in a single industry, and some have led some of the world’s biggest brands through major change.

Ongoing training is necessary in practically any industry. You will add to your skill set and you’ll stay relevant and improve your marketability and career opportunities.

In a world that revolves around constant change, adaptability is critical for leaders.

In many cases, leaders can obtain support from their employers to pursue advanced training opportunities. Your company may contribute all or part of the costs if the skills you’ll obtain will benefit the company.

If you’re in business for yourself, career development and training are typically tax-deductible expenses.

Cultivating skills you’ll be able to put to immediate practical use for your employer or your own company means you’ll be combining formal certifications with hands-on experience.

When it comes time to pursue your next career opportunity, you’ll have hard data and proven results to show for it.

Training for Leaders

Opportunities for training are as varied as areas of expertise among leaders.

If you focus on a specific niche, there are likely certifications available through universities and professional organizations that offer advanced skill training resources.

Ongoing training opportunities enable today’s leaders to stay relevant in the constantly evolving world, and many are offered in an online format.

Not all training opportunities are expensive. In fact, some webinars and seminars are free and provide value comparable to paid programs.

Most universities offer a number of certificate programs aimed at preparing leaders with specialized expertise in broad topic areas which can be applied across multiple industries.

Some examples include:

  • Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Social Media and Technology
  • E-Learning and Corporate Training
  • Six Sigma
  • Intercultural Leadership
  • Non-Profit Management

Real World Experience

Leaders don’t have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into obtaining an advanced degree.

While an MBA can certainly help you stand out, today’s corporations are looking for leaders with hands-on, real-world experience and proven results.

Specialized training and certificates can be just as effective in helping you stand out among your competition whether you’re seeking a full-time position or a consulting gig.

Leaders Constantly Seek Opportunities

It’s important to recognize that training opportunities won’t necessarily fall into your lap.

You have to remain proactive and seek out programs which can enhance your skills and expertise.

Check with local colleges and universities, your local Small Business Administration office, professional associations and membership organizations dedicated to your field of expertise and general training that can apply across a broad number of industries.

Make a commitment to further your education each year.

Commit to attending relevant conferences and events, pursuing specialized certifications and other credentials to add to your growing resume. Read at least one book each quarter for personal development purposes.

Books such as “The Seven Traits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey or Dr. Schuller’s “You Can Become the Person You Want to Be” can provide you with valuable tools and tactics to relate to your constituents and counterparts and motivate you to do better and be better overall.

Getting Ahead

If you want to remain relevant and poised to lead your company into the future, specialized training is the way to stay on top of the pack.

Leaders share a number of common characteristics, and a strong desire to excel is one of them. Foster your own desire for excellence by continuing to further your skills and expertise.

Whether you opt for a formal certification program through a higher education institution, seek out training in niche areas of focus, or simply take advantage of industry opportunities, ongoing training will help you advance your career.

Has Training Helped You?

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Katelyn Roberts
Katelyn follows Policy Research Associates targets professional training programs in a variety of fields to help professionals gain a competitive advantage.