Three reasons why leadership development programs fail

Three reasons why leadership development programs fail

For years, we have been publishing thousands of books and articles on leadership and its important elements. Organizations have been investing time and money on enhancing the capabilities of managers and fostering aspiring leaders. Colleges and schools are constantly offering hundreds of courses that teach us about leadership and how we can apply it in real life. 

Despite all such collective acumens, we still see loopholes — lack of confidence among leaders. According to a recent survey in the US, seventy-seven percent of those polled nationwide say that the country now has a crisis in leadership. And, confidence has also fallen to the lowest level. But why it is happening —a major concern. 

Here are three prime reasons why companies are not getting benefits from leadership development programs.

  • Ambiguous about goals and objectives

This is one of the prime reasons behind the failure of leadership development programs. Before investing in training programs, organizations must identify the goals and objectives of these training programs. They need to know: why they are investing, for whom they are investing, and what are their expectations from learners. 

Though behavior change is the ultimate reason for these training programs, still organizations need to be bit particular. They need to know what changes they want to see in learners’ leadership quality. And according to that, they need to decide the outcomes and goals of leadership development programs. 

  • Misinterpretation between leadership development and management training 

Sometimes organizations misunderstand both the terms: leadership development and management training. According to the Pennsylvania State University report, there must be a difference between leadership development and management training. Both have their emphasis. While management training includes managerial education combined with knowledge, skills, and ability to progress task performance in management roles, leadership development encompasses empowering people to work together in meaningful ways. 

Hence, to get positive results from these development programs, organizations need to differentiate between leadership development and management training. And, the only way is that they need to understand and segregate the accurate functions of both the roles. 

  • Practical application of leadership development courses

A leadership development program offers an endless amount of curriculum — from onboarding to strategic planning and from project execution to debriefing. But all these are theoretical. So, if these courses are not applied in practical life to drive business growth or solve business-related problems, then leadership programs will fail to create an impact on organizations and their members.  

Final thought

Leadership is an important part of a successful organization. Organizations invest both: money and time to arrange leadership development programs and enhance the qualities of leaders. So, to make this more fruitful and create amazing leaders, organizations need to focus on: why to train, whom to train, and how to train.

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