Leadership development programs are ineffective and expensive, according to an article in a recent issue of Inc. magazine titled “3 Reasons Leadership Training is a Huge Waste.” The article explains that these programs tend to be isolated events, de-coupled from real world issues. While this idea is true, it doesn’t get to the real point.
Most leadership development programs are just plain lousy. They are poorly designed and inadequately led. In addition, leadership development programs usually have two main components, some kind of boot camp and some form of a mentoring program.
The boot camps consist of many presentations, an occasional exercise and a celebrity speaker. The mentoring is an accidental, minimally structured affair that has no real impact.
The article indicates that the way to fix this is to make the programs more realistic, which is like saying motherhood goes hand in hand with apple pie.
About 80 percent of our business at Cerebyte now focuses on leadership development programs for senior, middle management, first-line and individual contributors. Participants in our programs regularly say that they are fundamentally transformed. We accomplish this by giving people weekly exercises that are practical. We teach them applied leadership skills, provide them with social learning environments where they discuss their applied leadership learning, and we give them access to an online journal for reflection.
Our program is about 20 percent of the cost of a typical program, and while everyone in the programs say it’s very demanding, they also say it made them great leaders. More importantly, the executive teams see and report a significant change in the culture.
This article is right in bemoaning crappy leadership programs. Now, you can have a great one at less cost.
What do you want to do?