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Leadership and Management Development Programme (LMDP)

The LMD Programme’s principles is that modern leadership and management start with knowing, leading and managing oneself. It also means creating more effective teams based on understanding, trust and openness. And it means happier and more motivated staff that chooses and is enabled to contribute, take responsibility and use own potential.

Accordingly, the LMD Programme in its support and cooperation with member administrations pursues the following aims:

The first aim of the LMD Programme – at the individual level – is to inspire managers to adopt a leader-manager style. A style that through knowing yourself, managing yourself and really understanding others leads to a great and positive impact on others. This modern leader-manager style focuses on developing others by managing staff though a human approach, while at the same time being highly demanding on outputs and results. The LMD Programme helps to increase confidence in applying modern leadership attitude, skills, behaviour, improve level of purpose and direction, enable improved motivation of staff, better results, quality of work by staff, development of staff, more creativity, happiness and energy at staff level, improved honesty and integrity levels.

The second aim of the LMD Programme – at the team level – is to create a stronger management team and a positive management culture, based on trust and openness. A management team that is not afraid to confront and hold accountable and where honest, open and constructive cooperation is natural. The LMD Programme assists with redirecting focus on a management culture that is based on and encourages trust instead of fear; with improved accountability, transparency, trust and openness, communication and cooperation; where people are more candid and authentic, talk straight and confront real issues etc.

The third aim of the LMD Programme – at the organizational level – is to improve strategic management, so that next to operational performance the focus and success of the organization on the mid-to-long term is better guaranteed. The LMD Programme helps to establish more focus on vision and values, enable successful implementation of strategical issues and big changes, improve integrity and professionalism, redesign organizational culture, enhance change management and more.

Principles of cooperation

The LMD Programme capacity building approach builds on the key principles, endorsed by the 11th session of the Capacity Building Committee in 2019: sustainability, ownership and hand-in-hand development.

Sustainability: The LMD Programme aims to support committed Members in the development and implementation of modern, consistent and sustainable leadership and management development.  To produce an organization-wide change in the leadership and management culture, the LMD Programme offers support on three different levels: executive, senior and middle management. Another integral part of the sustainability principle is that the LMD Programme is working with participants on a deeper personal level which allows them to make more profound changes in themselves and in the organization.

Ownership: The LMD Programme aims to work for and with Members that know and understand that building and developing a modern leadership and management culture is a prerequisite for every successful administration. Therefore, the LMD Programme’s support starts with the most important – building trust and creating the right conditions in cooperation with the organization’s top executive management.

Hand-in-hand development: LMD is a critical element and the leverage for organisational development, which in turn strongly enables progress in technical areas. That’s why the LMD Programme realizes and wants to take its full responsibility for the hand-in-hand development of both organizational and technical dimensions of member administrations. For that reason the LMD Programme seeks cooperation with projects that are focused on more technical oriented support. Such cooperation entails the delivery of the standard set of LMD activities (Top Executive Retreat, LMD Workshop, Middle Management Development Training), but next to that, also a more tailor made approach. The LMD Programme can coach managers and teams that want to implement technical changes and can also provide other tailor-made follow-up support.

LMD support

The LMD Programme provides support to the WCO member administrations, to their executive, senior and middle managers by offering a Top Executive Retreat, LMD Workshop and Middle Management Development Training respectively. In addition, various types of the follow up support can be offered.

The Top Executive Retreat (TER) is the first core element of the LMD Programme’s support. This is a 3.5-day retreat which is delivered to the Commissioner General of a Revenue Authority, or the Director General of a Customs administration (CA) and her or his team of executive managers (up to 10 participants).

This retreat gathers participants in a secluded location where they undergo a process of surprising and profound change. TER has a strong strategic and organizational development focus, it helps building trust and openness in the executive team and also addresses issues on a deep personal level. TER’s agenda is always tailor-made based on the preliminary provided inputs from the participants.

The LMD workshop is the second element of the LMD Programme which is the 10-day workshop for senior management (max. 20 participants). Participants develop modern leadership skills, attitude, and behaviour through interactive exercises and individual reflections. The workshop stands on the philosophy of knowing yourself, managing yourself, really understanding others and having positive impact on others.

Depending on the size of a beneficiary administration, one to three LMD workshops can be delivered.

The Middle Management Development (MMD) Training as the new, tIt is going to addressing  middle managers by expanding their knowledge, skills and understanding of modern management and developing in them the right behaviour and attitude of a modern manager. This training will equip middle managers with a set of fundamental competencies necessary to manage oneself, teams, stakeholders and the organization on a daily basis. The first delivery of the MMD Training can be expected starting from the year 2021.

LMD Experts

The LMD facilitator helps participants develop modern leadership and management skills, attitude, and behaviour based on greater awareness and knowing oneself, self-management, real understanding of others and having positive impact on others. Also, the LMD facilitator coaches participants to integrate this knowledge into their daily management and to better contribute to the organizational development and modernization processes of their administration.

Regular expansion of the pool of LMD facilitators allows more and more WCO Members to benefit from the LMD support. For that reason the LMD Programme regularly (upon availability of funds) conducts LMD Facilitators Accreditation Workshops that aim at identifying and strengthening potentially qualified facilitators who are able to deliver LMD support in the language requested.

The LMD Facilitators accreditation follows the WCO accreditation process approved by the Capacity Building Committee.

Prerequisites for LMD support

In addition to being compliant with the LMD Programme’s principles of cooperation, there are few other prerequisites for the successful LMD support.

Beneficiary administration’s commitments

In order to reap all the benefits from the LMD support, a beneficiary administration and especially its managers are invited from the very beginning of their cooperation with the LMD Programme to profoundly reflect on their true needs and objectives and make the following commitments:

  • Personal will of top management to develop an inspiring management culture;
  • Open up for individual learning and growth as a person;
  • Take ownership to become an agile and learning organization;
  • Involvement of the whole organization, invest time and money in education of management;
  • Develop more strategic focus among all high and senior managers;
  • Cooperate with the LMD Programme to create real and sustainable change;
  • Understand that organizational development is a foundation for technical progress;
  • Put authority and decision making as low in the organization as possible; and
  • Create an organization where people are happy and like to work.

Request for support

As a WCO member administration you can express your interest and request for support in LMD:

  • during an annual WCO Capacity Building Needs Assessment exercise;
  • during diagnostic missions conducted by the WCO experts; and
  • by forwarding an official request letter to the WCO.

More Information

LMD Publications

True leadership through greater awareness
By Rob Jansen, former Programme Manager, Leadership and Management Development Programme, WCO


For more information about the LMD Programme, please contact Capacity-Building Directorate at