How sexy is leadership development? Well, TOO SEXY !!!

Below you can read the short reflection that Zoltan Buzady shared on his google+ page with some of my additions regarding to Victor Lipman’s article about leadership development.
leadership training


How sexy is leadership development? Well, TOO SEXY !!!

I agree with the conclusion that in developed economies too much focus and money is being spent on top/executive education – especially when compared to the bottom of the organizational pyramid. The author gives his – probably common sense – observations. I, however, give you my predictions on what trends to expect:

1) Democratization of leadership development by cheaper online learning platforms (MOOCs);
2) Efficiency and Effectiveness increase of alternative forms of leadership development tools by the use of online serious games (such as with the help of mass-customized feedback systems (I think I just invented this new terminology);
3) Rolling-out across cultures of leadership development into emerging markets: Central/HQ decision makers will start to realize that new business growth increasingly can only be expected at the ‘periphery’ that is the local subsidiary companies, so they will adjust focus of their training targets also.
You see – Leadership Development is sexy! and you can expect more to come!

Let me add some thoughts:
  • As I (similarly to the author of the above mentioned article) experienced it over the years, most companies don’t invest in training their employees to become leaders: they do their actual job well, know all the nuances of their current position so they automatically get promoted.
  • Most training concentrate on technical and factual knowledge, that might not even be in correlation with the company’s strategy, organizational culture or vision and mission. This one size fits all assumption might overlook essential competencies that should have been developed instead of the millionth training on how to administer data. Also, getting less, but more focused and practice oriented training is far better than getting fart too many theoretical speeches. The best training programs are tailor-made for a given company and have a “from-to” path in their focus.
  • Leadership development should create opportunities that address high-priority needs and provide personal-development opportunities at the same time. With some care it is possible to create such developmental courses, where the participants can hone their skills and reflect while they simultaneously gain real work experiences.
  • Becoming a better and more effective leader requires some changes in personality and behavior. These changes might cause discomfort at the beginning but necessary as the muscle pain for an athlete. Every leadership competency sounds great and fancy in theory but their successful adoption can be unlikely if the program participants have a self-limiting and controlling mind-set.
  • Most companies fail to measure the results of training – either the participants’ behavioral change or career development or even the business impact could be monitored and analyzed after the training. This way companies could avoid throwing money out of the window for the same useless training over and over again.