AUTHOR: Winsor Jenkins, LEAP Certified Coach, Portland
Recently I read two articles published in the Association for Talent Development's (ATD) Training & Development Magazine (December 2014). The articles were: Reflections On Leadership - and Seeking Answers On The Lackluster State of Leadership.
Both articles were relatively short, yet pithy in describing what's wrong with leadership development today. For me the following points really struck a chord that needs to be played over and over for things to change on this "sheet of music" in the future.
The article, Reflections On Leadership, identified some common themes on why leadership development programs don't work: (1) treating leadership development as a one-and-done event; (2) failing to help leaders apply what they learned during training on the job; and (3) plain irrelevance. The article also mentions that, "organizations often lack a sustainability plan...called a 'learning journey' approach that continues to build learners' knowledge."
Two key takeaways in the article, Seeking Answers...spoke to how learners learn...making the point that, "a greater emphasis on 'effective interactions' needs to be included to develop leaders...and that leaders who spend more time interacting are more effective at many leadership skills." Second, "organizations can attack these barriers by making training courses more like the job and the job more like the training courses."
Based on my long-standing history in the leadership development space, I believe both articles are spot-on in describing what's wrong with many leadership development efforts. With that said, is the stage set to change chords and play new music?
What's your take on this? What, if anything, needs to be added to this critique?
Lynda Silsbee is Founder and President of the Alliance for Leadership Acceleration. She has spent more than 30 years creating and leading high performance teams. Along with the other LEAP Certified Coaches, she reports that helping managers make the LEAP to leader is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work.