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The Benefits and Limitations of Leadership Training

In the UK, a huge amount of money is spent by companies, large and small, on leadership training. Globally leadership and management training is thriving, with some $356 billion estimated to be spent in a single year (2015), including around £45 billion in the UK alone and this figure is sure to keep on rising. But are companies getting a good return on their investment, and is it paying off in terms of productivity and success?

The Barriers to Success

In surveys, many senior managers have said that training appears to have only a short-term benefit. Leadership training programmes are undoubtedly a force for good in most cases and particularly where leaders understand the importance of clear, concise and regular communication, as emphasised by experienced mentoring companies like Eric Land Mentoring, leaders in the field of guiding businesses to success through training, mentorship and upskilling.

In the early days of a leadership training course, participants usually gain plenty of benefits and insight, which enables them to work better with colleagues and establish new objectives for their organisation going forward. Unfortunately, this initial surge is too often short-lived as managers and staff settle back into old routines and entrenched attitudes.

It becomes clear what the barriers are to effecting permanent change for the better in companies struggling to achieve their full potential, and the most common ones are:

  • An unclear direction on strategy and achievement goals
  • A lack of teamwork among senior executives and leaders
  • A reluctance by senior managers to change direction or acknowledge their own failings
  • A reluctance by employees to point out to senior managers the obstacles standing in the way of effective operation

How Leadership Training Can Overcome Barriers to Enable Permanent Change

The most effective leadership training aims to improve individual development and organisational redesign and development in tandem with an emphasis on senior and lower level managers developing and evolving on the job as it were, teaching the art of continual learning in order to adapt to changing circumstances whenever they occur.

A vital part of leadership training is helping managers and senior executives to understand what behaviours and practices are expected of them and particularly in terms of how to set out a clear path to success for their organisation, including the hiring and development of new and existing talent within the company.

Managers can learn to understand the importance of looking for skills gaps within their staff as well as spotting underused employees who could be better employed elsewhere in the organisation with the help of further training and education.

As pointed out earlier, through leadership training, managers could learn the benefits of better communication with company employees and colleagues in order to gain insights into how the organisation is performing, what could be changed or improved and how day-to-day coaching and mentoring could help facilitate new strategies and values on the way to success all across the board. 

2 thoughts on “The Benefits and Limitations of Leadership Training”

  1. Another good article – thank you. I think that training is important for all leaders and there is plenty that every leader could gain from the right sort of training. But I also think that there is an element of individual personalities that naturally make certain people better leaders than others.

    So, my belief, is that the best leaders intrinsically have the right skills and attitudes – training just improves those skills and attitudes.

    1. It’s true Jags, in my opinion, that some people are naturally better suited to leadership roles because of their personality traits, but having those personality traits doesn’t in itself make them great leaders. Equally, it’s also true that there are people with other skills and attitudes who could make great leaders by focusing on improving, for instance, how they create a rapport with people, motivate people and engender loyalty.

      I don’t think there’s a simple answer nor do I think there is only one good type of leader. Even the industry in which people work can be important for selecting the right type of leader.

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