Leaders in almost every company understand that the difference between success and failure in an organization is often the quality of their leadership. One would think that this understanding would influence decisions and cause organizations to provide development that would ensure the continued health of the enterprise. Amazingly, companies both large and small often ignore the necessity to develop their next level of leaders.
Many organizations spend a great deal of money creating training programs. Often these programs are built on large and expensive infrastructures where current employees provide the leadership lessons for their colleagues. Amazingly, even the U.S. Military realizes that if you want to provide leaders and emerging leaders with new ideas on leadership, it requires those with experience outside of the organization. That is why many of the military courses at the Senior Leader Institutes are taught by civilians and outside experts. Why is it that companies persist in the idea that they can train their leaders using only those who are “Drinking from the same trough?”
Clearly, there is a need for training on internal processes that will increase a managers’ efficiency within the company. This is not the same as developing leaders. As John Kotter, Harvard Leadership Guru, puts it, “Leadership is about change.” One cannot train the next level of change agents by reinforcing current practices. Companies that want to really develop leaders need to find a set of instructors with a program that provides a new view of leadership with techniques that expand their employees skill set. Real leadership must be about change and the first issue to be addressed is a change in attitude by senior leaders. A new outside source of training and development might be the best prescription to develop your next level of leaders.