Why Most Leadership Programs Ultimately Fail?

The difference between what an individual knows about leadership and the things that he can do as a leader is pretty impressive. Leaders never fail because they don’t know what a leader should do. Why Most Leadership Programs Ultimately Fail?
In fact, they have a pretty strong theoretical basis. The main problem is that most of them aren’t willing to take risks or deal with uncertainties. They would rather move on not knowing and acting wise than ask for clearance and improve their skills.

In other words, the main challenge with which leaders have to deal is that of emotional courage. In case you didn’t know, emotional courage implies standing out without differentiating yourself from the others. It also means having the courage to express your opinion in situations in which others are afraid to do it, as well as the ability to remain measured and grounded whenever you have to deal with uncertainty. True leaders should respond efficiently to political opposition, without getting distracted or sidetracked.

What makes a leader a great leader?

Good leadership skills cannot be learned from books or personality tests. Leadership teachers analyze different methods of developing leaders, from corporate trainings to business school classes or executive leadership courses and they finally reached a conclusion: leadership development programs should first of all change behavior. The people who attend this type of program should learn how to do things using other methods that bring better results.

However, most training organized until now have failed. Even though they’re engaging and fun, they cannot produce vital changes in people’s behavior, meaning that the final results are different from the expected ones. Why is this happening? Well, mainly because we are used to teaching useless things using the wrong methods.

If the main challenge implied by leadership is that of emotional courage, it means that what trainers should teach is emotional courage. However, you cannot pretend someone to learn about communication without reproducing a situation similar to the ones that need to be handled on a regular basis.


Teaching leadership

Leadership programs that teach people in safe environments are not recommended, since they cannot give courage to people. Good leadership programs require participants to offer face-to-face feedback to each other, according to what they have noticed during the program. That’s indeed courageous and can teach potential leaders how to handle their emotions.

Leadership has recently become a hot topic in the business world. Most companies are looking at this elusive ability as vital to organizational success, and the mail goal is to help executives become great leaders. Leadership development is making billions, and most publishing houses are willing to go to extreme lengths to find that perfect author who can write the next leadership blockbuster.

It’s difficult to stumble upon a CEO who doesn’t possess an attentively honed speech about how important it is to develop next-generation leaders. And yet most enterprises out there have leadership programs that fail. Eventually, CEOs end up hunting for some other job because they were not capable to be great teachers. How can that be? Maybe because they were not good leaders to begin with; if companies were willing to develop leadership talent internally, the performance level of rookie leaders would have improved dramatically.

Bad leaders, bad programs, poor results

Bad leaders, bad programs, poor results

The poor performance of CEOs can take a whole company down. Not being able to teach and help others follow your footsteps can greatly interfere with a company’s overall success. Bad leadership skills act more like a disease that’s constantly spreading among people who are trying to learn but they don’t have the right material. The pathology of a bad leader is still not understood by companies, and that’s why they’re still willing to hire incompetent CEOs.

Most leadership programs fail because they’re guided by leaders with no vision. If you can’t motivate performance, inspire, and create sustainable value, you can’t achieve success. Leaders who lack integrity and character can’t survive in the business environment. It doesn’t really matter how persuasive, affable, savvy or intelligent an individual is, if they’re prone to unethical behavior that is based on current and future demands and needs. In the end, they will become the prey of their own undoing. You can’t cheat ethics; either you have it or not.

About William Taylor

Experienced writer William Taylor has extensive knowledge of business strategies and negotiation. His site, thegappartnership.com/, offers negotiation workshops in different languages.