Leadership Training vs Leadership Development

Most leadership training programs don't even come close to accomplishing what they were designed to accomplish, which is to develop better leaders.  

The American Society of Training and Development reports that U.S. businesses spend in excess of $170 Billion dollars on leadership education, and the great majority of those funds go to 'Leadership Training'. But, when it comes to leadership, the training industry has been ineffective for a long time. Leaders aren't trained, they're developed - a subtle yet important distinction lost on many. Although leadership training is still around, it should have been disposed of altogether a long time ago.

Poor training is the cause of many fails in leadership development. Although the traditional idea is that training solves leadership issues, it rarely does. Training and development are actually two very separate concepts. 

The leadership training problem

The wrong approach is to think that the system in place is the right one. The term 'best practice' often does not actually explain what is best for the company. In the modern business world, organisations need to use recent examples instead of delving too far in the past. It's also important to remember that training focuses on best practices, while development focuses on next practices. Many employees find that leadership training, much like other training methods, are outdated and a bit authoritarian. Who wants to be lectured at all day?

The outdated methods that revolve around lectures and presentations simply are not up to date with the present day concerns and do not meet the needs of most employees.

The leadership development solution

Development should be the answer. Instead of training leaders, coach them and mentor them. Development offers many actionable goals, while training is seen to be outdated.

15 differences between leadership training & leadership development:

  1. Training keeps to the status quo, while development aims for something further.
  2. Development is more people-focussed.
  3. Development focusses on the future, while training is on the past.
  4. Development is always more interested in developing potential.
  5. Training depends on transactions – development focuses on transformations.
  6. Development is growth-based.
  7. Development is more interested in the person, than the role.
  8. Development tries to educate – training tries to indoctrinate.
  9. Development leads culture, does not try to stifle it.
  10. Development encourages performance over compliance.
  11. Training is more focussed on efficiency than effectiveness. 
  12. Training is problem-based, while development is solution-based.
  13. Development relies more on intellect than training.
  14. Development explores the unknown, while training relies on what is known.
  15. Development is ongoing, while training is finite.

When you are looking for innovative leaders, it is essential to develop them.

You can't have an evolving business if the leadership stays stagnant and undeveloped.