Google “leadership training” and you will find endless search results for companies claiming that they will take you or your management team to new heights! Sounds great, but do they really develop personal leadership skills? Many do not. Leaders are not puppies and should not be “trained.” Instead, the focus should be on professional or personal leadership development that will give them the leadership skills, critical thinking skills, and malleability to lead through any situation that may come their way.

Leadership Training vs. Leadership Development

It seems like semantics, but there is a big difference between training and development. Training typically teaches the techniques and processes for the correct way to do things. Sounds good, right? Not exactly. Training involves a “one size fits all “approach for leadership best practices that usually takes place in the form of a presentation or lecture session or series. These training programs are often outdated and finite.

Development, on the other hand, refers to mentoring and coaching leaders by understanding their needs, personalities, and the unique challenges they face in the workplace. A good leadership coach should talk with your team rather than at them in order to understand their challenges and come up with solutions. Unlike training, leadership development is forward looking and helps leaders develop critical thinking and problem solving skills so they can be flexible and successful leaders.

What to Look for in a Leadership Development Program

A good organizational leadership or team development program should focus on your organization’s unique needs. This includes analyzing the existing organizational leadership and culture and discovery of the “cause and effect” processes that are currently in place to help shed light on the weak spots or dysfunctions that are in need of improvement.

The program should then focus on developing superior management techniques. Here are some general questions to ask when searching out the best leadership development program for you:

1) What is your experience as a leader?

2) Have you consulted with many organizations? If so, can I have a list of clients that can be called for references?

3) How do you analyze the existing corporate structure and culture?

4) How do you get to know the processes currently present?

5) Can you present tangible solutions to our unique issues?

6) Do you help establish clear goals, mission statements, and a vision that will actually happen? If so, how do you ensure that the goals are met?

7) How will you help us develop communication skills and avoid “silos”?

8) Do you provide leadership development in the areas of time management, productivity, and life coaching?

Training is great for learning new software or house-breaking your puppy, not for developing leadership skills to handle the many challenges that will undoubtedly come your way. Find out more about our strategic leadership development programs or contact us to learn more about the results that you can expect from our program. 

*image courtesy of Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net