Why Leadership Development Fails or When Ads Subtract
Yesterday, I sat down at my computer after being away for a few days to catch up on the latest news so I opened up my web browser and clicked on an article. In less than a nanosecond my screen was filled so many ads that I could not decipher what was the article and what was an ad. When I went to close the ads inserted in between the paragraphs because it was distracting (clicking on the ‘x” in the upper right hand corner of the ad) it instantly pushed me to web page for that advertiser. I then realized it was an ad for something I had searched for previously, uninterested, I closed the ad and said, “The hell with this!”
I went back to the homepage and clicked on another article entitled, The Top 10 List of Places to Live. After clicking on the link, I had to click through one image at a time of each of the ten places, each click changed the page and the multitude of ads that were being served up on my screen. I found it ironic, that each page moved the image and the arrow for each item up or down so that I couldn’t click through them quickly without seeing more ads. While clicking through the list, on number 7, a video pop-up ad shows up on my screen with a timer for 30 seconds that I couldn’t stop or advance. At this point, I am feeling controlled, manipulated, and angry. I shut down the article, the web page, and my computer, grabbed my tablet and read a book.
I have to admit that at this point the whole experience was feeling somewhat Orwellian, however it did get me to ask myself a few questions:
- At what point is enough, too much?
- At what point does an attempt to draw you in … drive you away instead?
- At what point does your intention to add to a persons experience … diminish their experience?
You might be asking yourself … and what in the world does this have to do with Developing and Educating Leaders? Actually alot!
Some organizations take a very similar approach when it comes to developing their leaders. The idea is that the more courses and classes they can offer the more effective the development of their leaders will be. And yes, while it is better to offer too many courses than no courses at all, there is a point where more is too much and the laws of diminishing returns cause organizations to fail in the critically important area of leadership development.
5 Traps Organizations Fall Into When Developing Their Leaders:
- Inundating their leaders with a multitude of classes on a multitude of topics, so many that they fail to embed a singular leadership model into their culture.
- Creating training programs that are rooted heavily in theory and out-dated models which have no basis in the reality of what a leader experiences on a daily basis.
- Failing to intentionally create congruence between the programs (one course building upon another) resulting in a “training du jour” mentality.
- Failing to hold leaders accountable for improving the way they lead after the program in a meaningful way and therefore diminishing the learning and the impact of the program.
- Judging the impact of the program on the feedback sheets collected immediately after the program (when people still feel good) and failing to follow up weeks or months later to see what’s improved about the attendees leadership.
Organization spend 164.1 billion dollars a year on training with the idea that the more there is to offer, the more effective it will be. I once heard a V.P. of Training & Development boast that they offered offer 500 different training courses … and they would be adding more! The fact of the matter is that organizations might be better off to reduce the number of course and develop a multifaceted program to develop leaders that is ongoing and has a distinct built in process for aligning the leaders with the organizational culture that is desired.
6 Questions You Must Ask Yourself About Your Leadership Development Process:
- Is our leadership development process about training our leaders or are we educating them (we train animal, we educate leaders)?
- Do we have a series of programs and workshops that teach theory or do they actually build practical leadership skills the leader can start using the moment they walk out of the class?
- Does our overall leadership development plan consist of a multifaceted process designed to embed the learning into the leadership culture over an extended period of time?
- Does our leadership development process teach leaders the skills to develop the leaders below them?
- Do we have a system in place to follow up after the programs to measure the impact (r-o-i) of the time, money, and energy spent on the course?
- Do the people developing our leadership development programs have actual hands-on leadership experience? In others words is it based on what they think or what they’ve done?
3 Options You May Want to Take:
- If you would like to learn more about our 7-month Leadership Development Program based on Joe’s latest book click here, The Art of Leading, Coaching, & Influencing Others ®
- If you would like to have a conversation about how you can start transforming the way you educate and develop your leaders click here.
- Or if If you simply would like to hear straight from the horses mouth how the program has impacted a few of the folks who have experienced it, keep reading …
“I have been in the business world for many years and most leadership training comes with predefined goals and suggested steps for success. Joe works with the team to help them understand what is unique to each member and the team as a whole so that they can see what is getting in the way of their success. This was the most worthwhile leadership training I have had in my 30+ years.
Greta Tarar – Senior Manager, American Airlines Group – Information Technology
“The Art of Leading Coaching & Influencing Others ® Program has prepared the Leaders of our company for the future. As a result of this program our leaders think strategically and more like owners of the company instead of employees. They lead more effectively and the walls that used to separate individual departments have dissolved. This Investment far outweigh the benefit from any equipment we’ve purchased over the years.”
Mark Fultz – Vice President of Operations – Able Steel Fabricators
“Joe worked extensively with my leadership team over a period of 7 months as part of The Art of Leading, Coaching and Influencing Others ® Program. Throughout the program, I could see the transformation of the team as the skills were internalized and then utilized within the broader organization. The growth and maturing of the organization was absolutely transformational. Joe has an excellent ability to work with individuals to uncover their strengths, opportunities for improvement, and what may be holding them back in their professional development. “
Nate Holm – Managing Director, PSS Integration – American Airlines Group
I had the privilege of being a part of The Art of Leading, Coaching, & Influencing Others ® Leadership Development Program. It changed the way I lead! Joe encouraged me to become an Intentional Leader. The entire program was so insightful and impactful! You will come away changed!
Mary Wootton – Human Resources Manager – Kinross Gold USA