May 05, 2019

Why leadership development programs fail

Very few organizations do a great job helping newly minted managers learn the critical knowledge and master the essential skills and behaviors necessary for excellence. Some companies have and do next to nothing. In others, you must be a “high-po” to get significant development. Even companies with formal and expensive in-house universities and generous Learning and Development budgets often miss the mark. How can I make this bold statement? I base it on our company’s 40 plus years of experience. To date, our Summit Leadership Excellence Program has never “lost” to an in-house program, and it consistently rates among the finest options for producing managers who get better results.

Why is this? Why do we succeed when so many other approaches fail? We’ve studied it at length and here is what I believe….Managing employees to achieve peak performance requires ensuring managers perfect and master the essential few behaviors needed for success. Explaining methodologies and hoping the practices will take hold seldom works, especially if the new and better way requires overcoming a specific underlying behavior. “Sinking and swimming” takes too long and learning from failure often requires surviving the repercussions of a debacle. Mentors don’t understand the “how to” behind perfecting their mentoring assistance.

Techniques that are good for transferring knowledge do not work for developing complex skills. Feedback or training alone doesn’t frequently result in better behaviors. Finally, the know-how and practices of top preforming managers aren’t captured to get replicated by people tasked with developing the content. What’s worse, in my opinion, are companies that are so proud of their in-house program they fail to test their curriculum or processes against the best approaches out there.

We can show how a proven approach that substantially improves delegation, execution, coaching, leadership presence, strategic thinking, influencing, strategy development, dealing with poor performance, and accountability will greatly accelerate the effectiveness of new managers. What’s more, these competencies are general leadership skills, and the best means for developing these skills and behaviors are not company specific. They only need tweaking from one company to another to capture the nuances. Using the best methodologies to develop these behaviors makes good business sense. In fact, it should be a priority for your organization.

If you are searching for a solution to improve your business results, teach your mangers to lead, grow your talent, or improve engagement - connect with our team at Performex: http://performex.com/.


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