Why Training Fails

typical leadership seminar

training seminar


Why Leadership Training doesn’t work!

Many millions of dollars get spent every year in Australia on Leadership Training and most it fails to make any real difference to business performance.

There will most likely be a difference for the first few days; sometimes it lasts for a few weeks. But most often there is no sustained improvement in performance.

There is a reason why almost all leadership programs fail to deliver on their promise. In fact there are three reasons. And a good part of it is because only a number of critical components of Leadership Transformation are implemented.

But before we look at that let’s look at a number of traditional approaches to Leadership development


A Brief History of Leadership Development

 There have been traditionally 3 ways of developing Leaders

1. Throw them in the deep end

1. Throw them in the deep end

This is where a leader is left to their own devices. It goes something like this – “Congratulations!!! Here are the keys to your vehicle; there is your desk. I am really busy at the moment but I will sit down with you soon and set my expectations. So, “Good Luck.” And that was it.

Three day Leadership Training Program

2. The  Leadership Training Program

The individual is told to show up at a certain venue on a certain day. There are no clear learning or business outcomes and the individual is left fending for himself or herself. There is no follow up and the individual struggles to implement the learning back in the workplace.

3. Certificate Training

3. Certificate Training

We embark upon skilling our people up through them attending a certificate training where they attain a qualification through course attendance and completing assessments. The individual attains the qualification but there is no significant change in behaviour or performance.

real issue

The Real Issue

The issue is not about what type of training you send your people on but on what processes or systems do you have in place to support the development of leaders within your business.

The Leadership Development Industry has gotten to a point where there is   plenty of quality material concerning how to be an effective leader. We have identified the Leadership work and the Management work of a role and we know what leaders are meant to be doing. Whether leading a frontline team or running a large business the leadership work will involve

  • Establishing a clear vision and strategy
  • Communicating and engaging people to buy in to the vision and execute the strategy
  • In a busy world, keeping people focused upon achieving results – accomplishing clear, measurable outcomes consistently
  • Innovating – find better, more efficient, more cost effective ways of doing things
  • Leading change initiatives effectively
  • Building a high performance team culture
  • Building the capability of their people

The challenge is to instil the Leadership skills and required behaviours into your business so that Leadership work gets done and the business thrives. Essentially it is about Culture and building a Culture that supports your business objectives.


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0417 077 029
or email us: contact@mcmahonconsulting.com.au