No one would argue against the importance of training. Whether you’re trying to get fit, learn a new skill, or form new habits, sticking with a training regimen is necessary for helping you achieve your goals and continue to grow. And yet, when it comes to training leaders within an organization, so many efforts fall short. Why is this? In this blog, we’ll explore why traditional leadership training models so often fail, and what you can do to foster more effective leadership development.
What to Know About Failed Leadership Training
Pitfalls of the “One and Done” Mindset
Training can take many different forms, but it always contains an educational component. As all students know from experience, some educational tools are primarily focused on delivering concrete answers that one can memorize and check off on a multiple-choice questionnaire – other programs, however, are rooted in cultivating a deep understanding of a topic and all its nuances. Leadership training too often falls into this former category, placing more emphasis on the completion of a course than on continued growth. A comprehensive leadership development program, on the other hand, recognizes that leaders never stop learning, providing foundational tools and support systems that help leaders adapt and grow throughout their careers.
Training Can Be Too Narrow or Too Broad
Leadership training programs often have another major problem: they’re either too hyper-focused on an organization’s specific operations or so broad that leaders struggle to apply what they’ve learned in any tangible way. Much like the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, the key to continued growth lies somewhere in between. The ideal leadership development program should offer a wide range of resources and tools, so all bases are covered – but it should also be customized to comfortably mesh with your organization’s vision and goals. At Leadership Resources, our Accelerate Leadership Program is multi-faceted in this way, providing integrated software, leadership content, personal and communal development processes, emotional intelligence training, one-on-one coaching, and more.
The Issue Is Systemic
There’s a bit of push and pull when it comes to training leaders within a particular organization. On the one hand, existing business leaders want to maintain a steady ship, so leadership training is key. On the other hand, cultivating new leadership can put this stability at risk, for better or worse. What often happens, then, is that training protocols become too restrictive. This stagnation is usually unintentional and systemic in nature. Simply put, if individuals aren’t empowered to make necessary changes to the existing system, the system will retain its power, preventing meaningful change. So, in order to unlock the true potential of budding leaders and foster ongoing leadership growth, certain structural barriers must first be overcome.
Overcoming the Obstacles of Leadership Training
The question remains, then: how can a business overcome its systemic issues and provide a leadership program that makes a lasting impact on the individuals and the whole? For starters, top-level leaders should re-establish the organization’s values and clearly define a strategic plan. From there, collect anonymous feedback on current management and training protocols to pinpoint key issues. To tackle these concerns, you may need to reconfigure roles and responsibilities and create new goals aimed at affecting real change. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure how well you’re achieving these goals and make adjustments as needed. Taking the time to dig into your business’ systemic failures and obstacles in this way will allow you to implement more effective leadership development processes. And as you cultivate stronger leaders, it will become easier to continue making these structural improvements, creating a positive feedback loop that propels your organization (and everyone in it) forward.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease obstacles and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.