Does Leadership Training Work?

Leadership is not a noun. It is a verb. Leadership happens daily, in practice.

At its heart, leadership training is about passing on skills to people so that they can effectively read, listen, influence, inspire, coach, and guide themselves and others.

  • To read yourself effectively, you need to be introspective. To read others, you need to be empathetic.
  • To listen to yourself, you need to create space to let the inner voice speak. To listen to others, you need humility and openness to see the world differently.
  • To influence yourself, you need the tools, strategies, and guides to work on the right things. To influence others, you need to coach them, ask them the right questions to let them grow themselves. You also need integrity, strength, and decisiveness.
  • To inspire yourself, you need a powerful “why”. To inspire others, you need to connect the work with their big purpose.

Can leadership training teach this?

I believe it can plant the seeds for these qualities to emerge in the right people in the right situation. And the more seeds you plant, the higher the likelihood of them sprouting, growing, and flourishing.

A training session can last for 1 day or even 1 week. But it’s up to the person to change their values, mindset, beliefs, and actions. That work is done on a daily basis.

That’s what actually matters.

Frequent Leadership Training is exactly what can help nurture the plant as it takes hold and grows.

Overcoming ingrained habits, mindsets, beliefs, and values can take a long time. Just like losing weight, starting a new diet, you need constant reinforcement, motivation, and recognition to keep going.

So, Leadership Training can work—really well! As long as it happens frequently. As long as one builds atop another. As long as the person has an interest in getting better as a leader.

In those situations, yes it can work.

I’ve led leadership workshops in rooms where the entire audience was completely disengaged. It took everything in my power to connect with their current challenges to make some of them interested in it.

I’ve also been in rooms where eager people who had just been promoted were looking for ways to be more valuable to their organization and their teams, and were committed to being active, engaged, and consistent practitioners in this process.

The later group wins. Always.

Your Thoughts

What has been the most effective leadership training for you? Did it even take place in a traditional professional setting or elsewhere? What was more valuable about it? Share your thoughts below to help others.