Thousands of leadership development companies and programs are available in the marketplace. With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to select a program that’s the right fit for your organization.
Start the selection process by going back to the basics of leadership development. Consider factors like your company’s culture, current leadership, phase in the business lifecycle, goals for future growth, and openness to the mindset of change. Imagine which leadership development service best supports your organization’s needs and goals.
Below are some of the most helpful questions to ask when you’re actively searching for the right leadership development company.
What is a Leadership Development Program?
By definition, leadership development is a form of proactive team-building that leverages the capacity to learn and implement new leadership skills. A great leadership program acknowledges the fact that leadership is a learned behavior, not necessarily an inborn trait, and nourishes emerging leaders with the skills they need to lead others successfully.
These programs take many forms, but any effective leadership program should contain a core set of elements plus options that expand and refine the program for your organization. Look for program elements like:
- A reliable leadership development methodology and operating system
- Customization and personalization to suit your organization
- Accountability through business leadership coaching
- Interpersonal skill-building based on emotional intelligence
- Talent retention and development
- Strategic planning, including succession planning
How Much Do Companies Spend on Leadership Development?
Global leadership development is a $360 billion-plus industry and more than $160 million is spent annually in the United States alone. Forbes reports a survey of 28,000 business leaders showing that 74% use instructor-led leadership training and 63% use executive coaching.
National hiring statistics show that hiring an in-house leadership development professional typically costs more than $62,000 in annual base pay, plus $26,000 in additional pay/benefits. An hourly leadership development professional would be paid at least $34 per hour.
In terms of how much individual organizations are spending with leadership development companies, costs may range from one-day training programs for $2,000 to robust coaching and development programs that cost $10,000 or more per month. The cost usually depends on the level of services you need and the number of participants involved.
Are Leadership Development Programs Worth It?
Leadership development follows the old saying, “You get out of it what you put into it.” When companies and individuals fail to commit to the leadership development plan, they’re unlikely to see much value from it. But if they dedicate themselves fully and stay accountable, there’s an opportunity to find immense value.
In a McKinsey study of why leadership development succeeds or fails, the researchers found four critical areas that determine the outcome of a leadership program:
- Customization vs. a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The most successful programs are customized, rather than following the same format for every organization.
- Reflection vs. application. Programs should focus time on applying learned knowledge, not just reflecting on it.
- Company culture. Successful leadership development programs consider the company culture.
- Accountability and metrics. The most effective programs establish goals for measurable success, then track individual performance and hold people accountable.
If you’re wondering whether investing in leadership development is worth the cost, consider the results of a recent Global Coaching Client Study. In the study, leadership coaching was among the business activities with an extremely high return on investment (ROI) at a net positive of 700% ROI.
Remember, customization is essential when it comes to leadership development. Experts say the best way to make a meaningful and lasting impact on your organization is with a full-service and long-term leadership development program, not just a one-day leadership training seminar.
The Secret to Selecting the Best Leadership Development Services Companies
Leadership Resources is among the world’s best leadership development companies with a proven track record of building a strong base of leaders at businesses large and small. We help growing companies identify emerging leaders, provide the right kind of support, and find new levels of success.
With the Accelerate Leadership Program, participants experience an individualized coaching approach that builds their leadership skills while inspiring them to achieve great things. To learn more, download our brochure.