Leadership consulting is a business service that engages in the evaluation of current management and supervisory strategies and assists the corporation in developing inherent leadership qualities among both managers and employees in general. The goal of effective leadership consulting is to help companies operate at maximum efficiency by properly utilizing the skills and talents already present within the organization to best advantage. To this end, the process of developing leaders may involve securing additional training for specific employees as well as making changes to the current business culture.
Consultants that specialize in the development of leadership skills and strategies are often called in when a company appears to have reached an impasse in the growth of the business. The consultant spends time looking at each level of function within the business and how those functions relate to one another. At the same time, the consultant will evaluate the current management or leadership style displayed at various levels within the organization. Based on the results of this evaluation, the consultant develops a course of action for enhancing the leadership of managers, department heads, and supervisors so the company can continue to grow.
Leadership consulting makes use of a number of strategies to accomplish the desired goal. A mentoring program may be implemented to allow department heads and supervisors to learn more about the management techniques used by upper level managers. Leadership training classes may be established to help develop the talents and skill sets of various managers to more effect. A consultant may recommend the creation of new leadership positions within the corporate structure, or advise that some existing management positions are spurious and could be eliminated in order to enhance the overall effectiveness of the leadership process within the company.
The process of leadership consulting may lead to a restructuring that involves not only the elimination of current positions, but also the removal of certain people from the company altogether. This may occur when the consultant perceives that a given individual is not a good fit for the position held and there is no other place in the corporate structure where the individual can function productively. When this happens, the consulting will often assist in establishing the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for the open position.
As part of the leadership consulting process, the consultant will also often identify employees who show potential for moving into management in some capacity in the future. Helping current management to identify the signs of potential future leaders and providing the tools to mentor and develop those future managers will help to keep the company vibrant and productive, since the process will also encourage promoting experienced employees rather than hiring from outside the company.
Leadership consulting services normally operate on a contractual basis and devote specified periods of time to assessing the leadership needs of the client. Independent leadership consultants may choose to focus on a particular industry or company type, or provide services to a wide range of businesses and non-profit organizations.