Attending an executive training or reading innumerable books on leadership does not make you a leader.
This goes beyond the age-old argument of whether leaders are made or born. That useless debate has been put to bed a long time ago.
Leadership training at best introduces process driven, static and one-dimensional thinking.
It fills the head with knowledge of the subject, but we can’t be a leader with information alone.
The individuals who demonstrated poor leadership behaviour such as micro management for example were the same ones nodding their heads to the negative impacts of this management style in the classroom. Then, the very next day those are the same people, who were in such agreement are behaving with the same poor behaviour.
Training people this way does not address the obvious: lack of accountability for self-awareness and thereby sustained behaviour change that produces better result after the training.
Think about it this way: You signed up for music lessons and practiced exactly the amount of time your teacher told you to practice. No more. No less. Now, ready to kick-start your career as a professional musician? It was then, you realised you would never be a great musician, because a great musician would have been practicing at every spare moment she had — not just the prescribed 30 minutes per day.
And so it is leadership. The multibillion industry that intended to develop leaders has failed the organisations and society. It’s time to boldly say “the emperor has no clothes.”
So what does this mean for executives and business owners who want to develop leaders to help fuel growth in their organisations?
Organisations need “fertile soil” in place before the “seeds” of training interventions can grow.
If we can select people who have a burning desire and ongoing commitment to being a better leader and set up an environment for them, we’ll have much more success training people.