If you have read enough leadership books around sales and management, you have learned their secret formula. The first chapter contains the majority of the content and the rest is just filler and reinforcement. Blinkist, an app that summarizes business books, is going to make a fortune. I will provide you with the same insight into leadership development training. Let’s start with a question that many employers face.
“What if you don’t invest in leadership training and you are stuck with those employees?”
The reason most employers decide not to invest in leadership development training is the fear that employees will leave after they have been trained. Richard Branson shares a different view:
“Invest in your people so that they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Doing all the right things to create the next generation of good, loyal leaders is great. But, is the investment in leadership development training really worth it?
Educating vs. Training Leaders
There is a major difference between education and training. Education is about learning concepts, for example, reading about them in a book or taking an online course. Training shows you how to apply concepts in real situations. It can also show you how to encourage behavioral changes that will lead to better results.
Most leaders do not need to be educated. They know leadership principles. “Lead by consensus.” “Hit the ground running.” “Create a proactive vs. reactive culture.” Often what leaders lack is the necessary mindset and the ability to apply those concepts. They ask questions such as:
- How do I lead by consensus when what I want is different from what my team wants?
- What is the necessary planning required to hit the ground running? What should I prioritize?
- If our world is reactive, how do I get my team to think proactively?
- What process should I put in place?
- How do I manage my teams’ reactions and shift from firefighting to prevention?
That is the hard stuff. The how-to-apply-it stuff. Leaders can’t learn that from a book or a course. They need help adapting the principles to fit their organization and they need real-world practice applying them. That is what training provides.
Employee Expense vs. Leadership Investment
Next, you need to ask yourself if you are viewing leadership development training as an expense or as an investment for your business. When you make an investment, you know what you want to get from it and you know where those results will come from. To make leadership development training worth it, everyone should know what you expect to earn from it.
“If my people could be better at "X", I would see the payoff in "Y" business metric.”
If you cannot define that, it is just education because no one will apply it in a way that is meaningful to your business. Too many leaders take this approach and don’t hold a training company accountable to the goal. If the training company is truly worth it, they will know what is possible for your leadership team and exactly how to get them there.
So, is leadership development training worth it? Yes, but only if you make it worthwhile for your business.
Want to learn more about how leadership development training can be effective for your business? Contact Lushin today and see how our management consulting, leadership training, and strategic account management programs can grow your bottom line.