The Cure for Inadequate Leadership Training

4 ways to ensure your leadership training develops better leaders.

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Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

– John F. Kennedy

If you have been a leader for any amount of time, you’ve probably had your share of ‘less than desirable’ leadership training. Even if you put forth your best effort trying to learn, you may have come away feeling you just didn’t receive a whole lot of value from the training. I’ve been there too and it’s frustrating to say the least; especially when you consider all the resources spent on leadership training.

To put it bluntly, there is simply a lot of useless leadership training out there. Nearly every day I talk to leaders who tell me their organization’s leadership training is in dire need of a makeover. The reasons vary but generally, the leaders don’t believe they are getting the specific training they need, and many of them believe their training is a waste of their time and the organization’s money.

If you are experiencing any type of inadequacy in your leadership training, here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years that will help you ensure your training is more effective in developing your leaders for future greatness.

Involve Your Leaders

One thing that will surely improve effectiveness is to talk to your leaders about their training. Get them involved by asking each of your leaders what specific training they think they need. Start by asking them what specific challenges they are currently experiencing. Leadership training will be extremely effective if it addresses the areas they want to learn about. The right training at the right moment can yield big dividends. It’s ultimately their career; your leaders want to make a difference, so get them involved!

Straightforward Learning

Don’t waste time preaching about processes and theories; keep it simple and straightforward. There’s a time & place to teach theories, but most leaders really don’t care about the technical lingo; they simply want to learn how to lead more effectively. Ask specific questions and provide specific examples to get them talking about real-life leadership challenges. Once your leaders grasp the straightforward techniques, you can always explain the theories to your leaders who are interested.

Immediate Application

If your leaders are not applying what they are learning within a few days, you are missing the mark. Leadership training must be applied as soon as the leaders return to their work areas. Many organizations try to accomplish too much with their leadership training, instead of focusing on one or two key challenges at a time. Training becomes immediately applicable to each leader when the training is focused on their specific responsibilities and challenges. Make it as realistic as possible. If they aren’t using the training, why are you training them on that topic?

Special Treatment

Don’t treat every leader the same! Every one of your leaders is unique, so their training needs to be unique as well. Take the time to figure out how each of your leaders learns best, and use that form of training with them. Whether it’s in the classroom, utilizing case studies, computer-based training, one-on-one coaching, team coaching, leadership book studies, leadership mastermind groups, topical video courses, etc. Everyone will grasp information differently, so don’t be afraid to treat each of your leaders differently. Diversifying training techniques will boost your overall effectiveness.

The bottom line is that many organizations are failing to provide adequate training for their leaders. What may have been effective training methods in the past are simply not working today. Four practices that all organizations can do, no matter how large or small they are, to make their leadership training more effective is to involve their leaders in the training, be straightforward in the training, ensure they can apply the lessons immediately, and treat their leaders differently according to how they learn best. Leadership training is no longer an exact science where ‘one size fits all’; a little extra effort will go a long way in developing training that is worth your time and money.

“Run to Your Challenges… to Achieve Greatness & Stand Out Among Leaders!”

For more Leadership blogs, consulting, speaking and coaching opportunities visit

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