Why Leadership Training Fails

If your company is dedicated to providing leadership development training, it’s vital to research all your options. In doing that research, you’ll want to be aware of the common challenges in training better leaders. If you aren’t fully aware of the reasons leadership training fails, you may find yourself asking questions you could have avoided.

Leadership training can be delivered in a variety of formats. Each delivery method can present unique challenges. Consider using live training, video, academic, or even eLearning, and look for the right delivery for your audience. The category of “leadership” can also cover a nearly overwhelming variety of topics. However, if the content doesn’t resonate – regardless of the topic – even expert coaches may lack the inspiration to truly connect with YOUR unique leaders.

Behavioral change at the cultural level doesn’t happen overnight, so we often hear the same three questions when companies are looking into improving their leadership training. We’ll share those three common questions and after that, present an easy-to-implement solution.

“Why Doesn’t My Leadership Training Ever Seem to Make A Difference?”

If you’re not seeing change happen after leadership training is complete, it’s time to look at the core problems. You can’t merely teach good leadership, good leadership has to be learned by doing. Above all, it’s important to realize better leaders are developed over time. For example, an in-person trainer may have been inspiring and motivated your leaders to make a difference, but the energy levels disappeared when he or she did.

Harvard Business Review cited an example of a common problem with leadership training. One company failed to research their unique leadership training needs and as a result, changed little after an “inspiring” (yet expensive) but ultimately unsuccessful program. Their story is universal. The issues cited included:

  • Managerial and organizational barriers
  • A lack of strategic clarity
  • Former leadership hierarchy
  • A politically charged environment
  • Cross-functional conflicts

As a result of these challenges, leaders struggled to put the advice into practice in their day-to-day work. Leaders must know how to implement what they’ve learned, so make sure your training provides actionable steps and follow-up. A coach can be “inspirational” without giving actionable solutions. They’ll also quickly be forgotten after the training session ends. One-and-done training is one of the reasons why leadership training fails.

“Why Does My Leadership Training Seem So Stale So Quickly?”

Your leaders cannot memorize the strategies for being a good leader from a textbook. Leadership skills take time, and that means you need to help them refresh their knowledge as new ideas come to light.

If you don’t keep your training topics fresh and engaging, your leaders may feel like the training is a waste of time as a result. Rather than feeling inspired to do more, they may view the training as stealing from the precious few hours they have to get their “real” job done. While the classics are always useful, re-presenting tired leadership lessons can leave your leaders uninspired. Provide a consistent stream of new soft skills that help them lead their team toward achieving established company goals.

Research proves that before real change can take place, organizations need “fertile soil.” Think of leadership training as “seeds” of action. These seeds can only flourish if your leaders implement what they’ve learned.

Some issues to address:

  • Are there communication problems within your managing departments?
  • Is the soil of your company environment a “psychologically safe” climate?
  • Does everyone, on any level, feel free to speak up?

Make sure your leadership training isn’t the same-old thing and includes actionable strategies. Leadership theory can be difficult to put into practice on a daily basis. Inspiration only takes root when the training you provide is inherently useful to your leaders.

Keep this in mind: leadership training only creates change if your senior leaders champion it. Make sure your training has across the board buy-in and everyone understands and embraces it. Seek fresh systems and courses that help sustain learning, and be sure to communicate what your leaders are focusing on at all levels.

“Training My Leaders Is Time And Labor-Intensive! How Do I Keep Leadership Training From Becoming My Entire Job?”

Creating successful leaders for your company can seem overwhelming. However, you can unload some of the burden by planning ahead and utilizing resources available to you.

One thing to consider is plotting out monthly leadership training topics, up to a year in advance. By knowing what training you’re going to deliver, you’ve got an edge on the content and can bring all your leaders on board.

Think about the format with which you want to deliver your training in advance as well. Will you offer a knowledge-based quiz after each session? Will you provide take-aways to remind leaders of the action objectives? What about bringing in an expert on each topic?

By planning at least several months, and hopefully a full year ahead, the task of training your leaders won’t seem to be constantly overwhelming.

Be sure you’re hiring HR Managers who can identify and prioritize leadership issues. You may want to utilize solutions developed by professional leadership trainers. In doing so, you can save time developing your leadership training topics, creating lesson plans, making them relevant, delivering that training, and tracking compliance.

Your Turn To Take Action: Time To Create Better Leaders!

Better leaders are often directed to focus their energy on learning in four core areas: Improving themselves and their people, connecting with their people, supporting their teams, and motivating people.

A Better Leader is an online leadership training designed to remove the barriers to creating great leaders. The training platform offers three years’ worth of fresh leadership topics to keep your team motivated while focusing on those four core areas.

So making a difference is as easy as helping your company’s leaders come together around Improving Morale, Making Decisions, Implicit Bias, Prioritization or Delegation. As a result of a wealth of actionable tips and strategies, leaders implement what they’ve learned immediately.

Keeping it fresh comes from the A Better Leader team, who is constantly delivering additional leadership lessons. Each lesson includes a core video, a downloadable infographic reminder, an interactive quiz, and a bonus video on the same topic from a leadership subject-matter expert. Robust, compelling, and immediately actionable, the topics are fresh and focus on the present needs of today’s corporate environment.

Keeping you sane begins on the A Better Leader administrative dashboard, where choosing and using your lessons is drag-and-drop easy. Schedule up to a year in advance – you’ll receive an email reminder with talking points you can use to launch your training internally each month. Implementation is simple and compliance reporting is a click or two away.

Loving what you’re hearing? To find out more about how A Better Leader works, visit us today for a free 30-day trial.

About the Author Chris Craddock

As the leader of Projections' production team, Chris loves to inspire others to perform at the highest levels! From the most challenging leadership opportunities to brainstorming the latest topics leaders want to learn about, Chris provides clear direction and vision.

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