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4 REASONS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FAILS
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As an organization, it’s important to ﬁnd ways to develop and grow your employees into leaders. This not only helps with their motivation and engagement, but it also helps create a strong collaborative culture of great work. But what’s the best way to develop your future leaders? And how do you ensure you’re investing resources in the right areas?
In 2014, corporations in the United States spent over $70 billion dollars on training and development. More was spent on management and leadership development than anything else, over 35%. SOURCE
In designing a best-in-class leadership development program it helps to ﬁrst identify common missteps. This will give you a better sense of what to focus on. 4 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT MISTAKES TO AVOID: FOCUS ON TRAINING AND NOT DEVELOPING MAKE IT A ONE TIME EVENT PROMOTE OPPORTUNITIES TO A SELECT FEW INVEST IN THE WRONG PEOPLE
1. FOCUS ON TRAINING AND NOT DEVELOPING Great leaders learn from experience, mentorship, and coaching. Great leadership programs focus on supporting a leader’s success with effective onboarding, tools, and ongoing check-ins and coaching. Make sure you’re not simply training on skill set and product knowledge but rather helping develop employees to go to the next level.
Training is often one directional, one dimensional, one size ﬁts all, authoritarian process that imposes static, outdated information on people. The majority of training takes place within a monologue (lecture/presentation) rather than a dialog. Perhaps worst of all, training usually occurs within a vacuum driven by past experiences, not by future needs. SOURCE
2. MAKE IT A ONE TIME EVENT Leadership development should be a continuous process. Companies should take the time to develop plans to integrate leadership development into everyday tasks and ﬁnd ways to create sustainable and engaging learning experiences over time.
Consider implementing a mentorship program to better integrate leadership development daily. It’s great one-on-one time and helps employees in a supportive environment. [A mentorship program] is a wonderful way to discover and empower new leaders as the mentoring atmosphere allows those with leadership potential to practice their skills and to rise to the top. —Cheryl Snapp Conner SOURCE
3. PROMOTE OPPORTUNITIES TO A SELECT FEW Organizations that promote a high trust, transparent environment are better suited to help employees develop leadership skills. Make sure your culture is receptive and encouraging of leadership development. Managers and peers should be educated to embrace development opportunities.
Our capacity to take risks, ask for help or assume leadership is limited by the thinnest connection we have with a member of our team. A team is only as strong as its weakest link. The weakest link is not a person; it’s the most restricted conduit through which information, inﬂuence and knowledge can ﬂow. SOURCE
4. INVEST IN THE WRONG PEOPLE Leadership isn’t for everyone. As you work with current leaders and managers to identify future leaders in your organization, make sure the people chosen for your leadership development track are passionate about your organizational purpose and want to develop leadership skills.
Major corporations spend an average of $3 million every year on leadership and development programs for high-potential employees, but 55% of these employees will turn over in a ﬁve-year period, resulting in wasted dollars and an insufficient leadership bench. By mentoring and targeting those who want to lead, organizations can minimize turnover and strengthen future leaders. SOURCE
By avoiding these missteps, organizations will be ready to create effective leadership programs that support growth and development.
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O.C. TANNER AND THE O.C. TANNER INSTITUTE O.C. Tanner, number 40 on the 2015 FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, helps organizations create great work environments by inspiring and appreciating great work. Thousands of clients globally use the company’s cloud-based technology, tools, awards, and education services to engage talent, increase performance, drive goals, and create experiences that fuel the human spirit. Learn more at octanner.com. The O.C. Tanner Institute regularly commissions research and provides a global forum for exchanging ideas about recognition, engagement, leadership, culture, human values, and sound business principles.
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