Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Leadership Training: Is It Worth the Effort

Attitude and culture shift first, tools and techniques training then delivers more.

Leadership is a life-long learning journey. That learning comes in many forms, classrooms, study, service work in the field, moments of triumph and life experience. It is spiritual, intellectual, and mostly in the trenches. It is a cognitive, cultural, behavioral, and systemic issue as to why we are not getting the impact we need. Obviously if companies don't do ROI beforehand this development training just becomes a 'nice to have' rather than a 'business need.' Overall speaking, is leadership training worth the effort?

Leadership is both nature and nurtured. Leadership is a diamond to be found in coal...not in a lab, the leadership landscape is littered with ineffective training programs. Leadership development must be integrated into the regular talent development scheme that is on-going and deep. True, the applicability of the competencies needs to be connected to business goals. That makes the competencies real to the participants. In addition, most leaders need remedial work on what makes people tick. Leadership is neither a franchise to be sold as a package, nor a skill set but a complex mix of a growth mindset,  innate capabilities, finely tuned communication and strategy skills, and vision of purpose...and, of course, a purpose worth following. Leadership training programs begin with an inner fire and a passion for navigating life. Begin from the inside out and be completely honest about your fears, weaknesses, misgivings and shortcomings. Do everything you can to build up your courage, wherewithal and confidence from the inside out. Do not expect the external world to solve your problems. Abandon all sense of ego, arrogance and entitlement. At that point, you will be ready. A leader is just as likely to bring unwanted change to an organization as they are likely to bring wanted change. Leaders are not controlled by command structure or corporate organizational boundaries. What companies also need are highly skilled (hard and soft skills) managers who buy into the culture and purpose of the organization. o if there is no clear linkage between leadership development and achieving real work outcomes then it’s hard to find time for your own development.

Leadership development training has its place in introducing leadership theories that can provide a framework to the skills a leader wants to develop. Skills themselves are going to be highly personal depending on the leader and are best learned through continual practice. Most leadership initiatives are a waste because most of Leadership Programs are not well-developed and highly effective. There is a great opportunity for leadership development to understand their business better, consult better and design better holistic and journey based solutions reinforced by other company systems and processes. Often organizations rely too heavily on the sporadic one-day training to develop and equip managers and directors and leaders. Everyone is different - so the 'classroom' alone is not enough to make lasting changes and get a good RoI. But will the coaching after the training individualized application is possible and highly beneficial. We need to create a business environment that allows for mentorship and mistakes to truly groom great business leaders. It is about leader training (enhancing human capital) rather than leadership training (enhancing social capital). Although in both cases abstract conceptualisation through training is not a waste of time if you engage in the active experiential bit and the reflective bit as well. For individuals with a strong preference towards theoretical learning styles then the course aspect will hold more value.

Attitude and culture shift first, tools and techniques training then delivers more. Authenticity and candor are fundamental in a trainer being effective. Companies throw people into training, giving the trainers the mandate to "fix them." That's where one of the major flaws hides - the top of the organization needs improvement most. Without upper management practicing the tenets of effective leadership. To encourage the development of a corporate leadership or a cultural model you need to work on communication. Training is important, but the creation of a collective image in which people can aggregate their mind is the essential key to success. Leadership training helps tremendously if you are lucky enough to be a part of a mentorship program designed to craft you into a competent leader. Leadership means work! No real, genuine work and experience living in the trenches yields no admiration and no willingness to follow. Ultimately, leadership is a humbling experience. What we have learned from neuroscience is powerful as it helps give understanding to the process of making real changes in patterns of behavior. Developing a new neural pathway in the brain takes time, awareness, and a skilled professional to help you become aware of when the behavior is still in charge. Emotional regulation begins with self-awareness and an intention to change. Overall, the trigger for the behavior can vary which makes it difficult to catch, this is why some of the training doesn't "stick" long after the program.

Leadership development is about change. Saying that one approach is the only solution is no longer the pathway forward. Hence, leadership training approaches need to be vertical and developmental moving forward ... not horizontal and behavioral like the old days. We need to train the culture we want to cultivate and we need to train management skills. Saying that leadership training is a huge waste is like saying that going to school is a huge waste since anyways you are going to learn more in the job. Training isn't going to make you, but it will certainly help you to be more knowledgeable, and think about what you are currently doing. In essence, Leaders need to engage their people so that this improves company performance and everyone knows that they have an impact/stake in the business in making it grow. This also comes out of ensuring that any type of leadership program is based on sound vision and values which lead ultimately into the business overall mission, integrated into talent management practices. This then will impact the bottom line profitability and sustainability.


Finally I have found something which helped me. Appreciate it!
Leadership Training programs

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