The Leadership Training Program Controversy



Many managers who just graduated from a leadership development program are excited to get back to work and start practicing their new skills to help create a high-performing team. But what are the chances that they’ll be able to quickly and dramatically improve their team’s performance or affect business growth?

It’s common to assume that with enough training on developing leadership skills, anyone can be a great leader… and can help create a high-performing team. But when a leader participates in a leadership training program, does that actually guarantee better team performance? Does leadership development do more than help the individual?

A High-Performing Team Requires More Than Individual Leadership Development

This may ruffle some feathers, but…no. An individual participating in a leadership training program alone will not guarantee better team performance and business growth. Think about it. Is it really so surprising that there’s more to an effective, high-performing team than a talented captain?

See, developing leadership skills is only one piece of the puzzle. A powerful leader, who can align a team with his/her vision in spite of tough situations, is developed over time… and with plenty of practice. The truth is, leaders are handicapped in two ways.

  • A leader is limited by their current skill set and behavior patterns. When they get additional leadership development training, that skill set expands, and so does their ability to be more effective.
  • The second limitation is the skill set and behavior patterns a leader’s team expects him or her to have. In other words, a leader’s newfound abilities may be bounded by team norms. What that means is that if you want to try new ways of doing things, but your team views you or the situation in the same way they always have, they may resist the changes you want to implement. That will only stifle business growth.

That’s why leadership development alone is not sufficient for a more efficient, high-performing team. First, it’s important for a leader to be able to influence the team to overcome resistance to change. That’s where team development comes in. The team needs to be trained, too, so that both the leader and the workforce can continually improve together. Developing your leadership skills for your team means investing in your employees so that they work together to produce high-quality results consistently and reliably.

Call it team training, team leadership development performance analysis, business development consulting—whatever you want. The point is, when you develop your team properly, they excel and that makes you a better leader. Your employees become energized, empowered, and responsible for business growth in the areas you’re counting on them for. You’re using your own experience with your leadership training program to grow your employees to be leaders and managers when you’re not around.

If you think leadership development training would be beneficial for your team as a complement to your own growth, there are countless resources out there to take advantage of. With a small investment in a leadership training program for your team, you’ll be well on your way to developing a more motivated, high-performing team and thus, successful business growth.