Why Most Leadership Development Efforts Fail - Marc Kitsko

Why Most Leadership Development Efforts Fail

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Why Most Leadership Development Efforts Fail

Organizations invest large amounts of time and even more money trying to develop their leaders. Unfortunately much of that investment doesn’t get the return it should.  This article tells you why.


Jim was a rising star in our organization. The staff liked him and there were whispers amongst senior leaders that he would one day make partner. Because of Jim’s potential he was selected to attend the company’s leadership development training.


Jim saw this as an incredible opportunity to network with other high-caliber leaders, rub shoulders with senior partners, and develop his own leadership style.

About a week before the workshop, Jim got an email highlighting all the details of what he could expect. So, with determination, he set out to conquer his to do list and clear his desk of all paperwork so he wouldn’t be distracted with anything during the training.


Jim was inspired by the workshop! The facilitator was awesome, the content was helpful, and the food was great!  Following the workshop, he was so inspired by the people he met and the information he learned that he was ready to implement all these wonderful ideas.


Monday morning with his shoulders back, a large cup of confidence in his hand, and an action plan written out, Jim sat down at his computer ready to be a better leader. Then he opened his email…93 emails…then he checked his voicemail…24 messages.


With all his new motivation he began to respond to messages and reply to time-sensitive emails. After having another drink of coffee, he decided to go and check-in with his team.  They had questions for him, some related to the workshop and others that were business related. Either way, by the time he was done meeting his team and back at his desk it was 10:30.

Between pounding out emails and making phone calls, time flew by and before long it was 3:45. Jim glanced down at his briefcase and saw his journal. He picked it up and read over his action plan. The action plan that he was so excited to implement seemed secondary at the moment. He set his journal back in his briefcase and thought, “I’ll get around to this tomorrow.”


Does this situation sound familiar to you?


Have you ever gone to the next best thingand walked away inspired and ready to make major change in your business? In your life? In your leadership? Then Monday comes and you find yourself buried in life’s details?


Most of us have, so what’s the challenge?

The challenge is seminars, workshops, conferences are great motivators and good for personal growth and development, after all, we gain new insights, new approaches, new skills, more knowledge, and we have aha moments. However, they are only a small percentage of the necessary action steps that a leader needs to take in order to make lasting change and be to successful.

When we work with our clients we constantly remind them that developing their leadership skills and abilities is a process, and when they implement business strategies they will take time, patience and discipline, but the end result will be an incredible return on your investment.


Yet, many leaders are addicted to what I call, “The Leadership Fix.” It’s an addicting ‘fix’ that inspires our souls toward greatness for a moment then it quickly fades away…that is until we get invited to the next training conference.

Reflect on that for a moment…how many conferences have you attended where you walked away inspired and ready to make changes to your organization? What did you want to change? What were the results?


If you want to develop your leadership you have to move beyond a weekend “fix,” or a one- time seminar and commit to moving from personal inspiration to successful implementation.

Consider talking with one of our leadership or strategy coaches.

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