Why Leadership Training Fails—and What to Do About It

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Why Leadership Training Fails—and What to Do About It

24 Mar 2022 Admin 0 Leadership

The mission of every organization is to ensure that its leaders are capable and good enough to maintain the bottom line of the organization. It is common for higher management to insist on sending a particular number of employees to leadership training programs. It is one of the most important things the company does to ensure a good future for itself.

Even though it has become common practice to provide leadership training programs to ambitious individuals for the eventual roles that their company has prepared them for, those leadership training programs are not as reliable as the management thinks. There are several reasons why some leadership development training is not worth the money it costs. Of course, these programs can be substituted by other forms of training along the way.

Let us understand why many of the leadership training programs fail in a particular organization.

Why Many Of The Leadership Training Programs Fail?

Is This The Right Time For The Right People?

Leadership development training isn't for everyone. Organizations have employees who are ready for change and employees who aren't. Through surveys and interviews, we can determine who should participate in these types of programs, why, and when.

If you notice the best subject matter experts or salespeople are often promoted into management roles - that is the time when companies put on a couple of short leadership training programs and wait for the magic to happen. However, in these cases, magic rarely happens. The success rate for subject matter experts promoted to leadership roles is less than 50%. Organizations today that are at the top of their game invest time in identifying their most passionate people who are capable of leading, coaching, mentoring, and inspiring others. Those are all essential elements for engaging middle and frontline employees. Hence finding people with more passion at the right time and training them is very crucial. 

Overlooking Context

Leadership requires an understanding of context. An excellent lead in a certain context will not automatically function well in another. Both scholarly studies and employers’ experiences support this. A CEO of a large European services company we know achieved outstanding results when markets grew rapidly, yet he failed to provide clear direction or impose financial discipline on the group's business units during the most recent recession. Rather, he continued to encourage innovation, new thinking, and other hallmarks of the culture that had previously brought success, until he was finally replaced for underperformance. Leadership without context may not sustain for a long time. 

Decoupling Reflection From Real Work

Companies face a delicate balancing act when it comes to planning a program's curriculum. Programs off-site can, on the other hand, offer participants a chance to step back and escape from the demands of their day jobs. In contrast, adults usually retain just 10 percent of what they hear in classroom lectures, compared to two-thirds when they learn by doing. However, even the most talented leaders find it difficult to translate even their most formidable off-site knowledge into improved behavior at the front line.

Leadership development training should be linked to on-the-job projects that have a business impact and enhance learning. The challenge is to find ways to provide participants with personal development while simultaneously addressing high-priority needs, for example, accelerating a new-product launch, turning around a sales region, negotiating an external partnership, or forming a new marketing strategy.

Failing To Measure Results

In many cases, companies make lip service to the importance of developing leadership skills without providing evidence to quantify the return on investment. Organizations that fail to follow and assess variations in leadership accomplishment over time are more likely not to take progress initiatives seriously.

In this world, organizations function as networks of projects, and teams work in matrices rather than hierarchies. The realities of corporate life demand that everyone lead projects and have the tools to begin. 

Because of this, leadership training programs need to focus on developing micro-behavioural abilities leaders should possess to work with teams. This training should equip potential leaders with tools they can use to lead others. Leadership training can only be aligned with the business when leadership is broken down into a series of micro-skills. 

Tips For Choosing The Right Leadership Training Program

Here are a few tips for choosing the right leadership training program:

1. Leaders are taught leadership. The goal of leadership programs should not be to examine a cadre of special, charismatic leaders. It is essential that leadership programs teach the nuts and bolts of execution.

2. The leadership training programs should be altered to indicate industry-specific jargon as well as include related case studies. 

3. Top leadership is often complacent about results, which causes leadership programs to fail. Leaders do not actively take part in the learning course. This leads to members checking out before training starts. If you want more interaction between participants, leaders must support and back the training program.

4. People now tend to have shorter and shorter training sessions due to their busy schedules. It is important that leadership training programs extend beyond the session. Programs should check with participants to measure and track key skills they have learned. 

5. Train a disparate group of individuals. In leadership training programs, different groups and functions within a company should be represented. These members should interact to bring the organization together.  


BY: Admin

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