What is Stopping Your Leadership Development Program?

A friend once asked me what I have learned since venturing out on this leg of my career and life with my leadership development programs. Since then, I’ve thought a lot about this conversation.

Right off the bat, two things come to mind:

  1. The desire and the need for developing leaders are HUGE!
  2. Time is the only finite stumbling block for advancing leadership development. Resources and commitment are only excuses for not doing it.

It also got me thinking about other people developing leadership programs in their organizations, and how I could help them.

In doing so, I realised there are several obstacles to creating these programs that often need to be addressed before any leadership can be developed. 

Tips for leaders determined to overcome obstacles to leadership development programs

Generally, there are three primary obstacles to leadership development programs: time, size/money, and lack of commitment.

Let’s break down each of these obstacles with specific steps for overcoming them.

If time is the issue

  • Add personal and organizational development objectives to the annual performance goals.
  • Be deliberate about reviewing the progress of up-and-coming leaders by adding conversations to your calendar.
  • Make time to coach and counsel those who are struggling to develop their staff
  • Add talent-development goals to the leadership meeting agendas

(Speaking of timing, this post discusses whether you’re spending your time investment on the right people)

If money is the primary obstacle

  • Ask whether leadership development has been considered when assignments are handed out and resources are allocated.
  • Explicitly factor leadership development objectives into work assignments sends a powerful message.
  • On-the-job learning is a powerful driver of leadership development

(Read more about your high-performance people in this post and why they’re not the same as high-potential employees)

If lack of commitment from the top is the primary obstacle

  • Put leadership development on the front burner when senior leaders meet.
  • Senior Leaders who persistently raise the issue and link leadership development to long-term strategy signal their engagement and should be the ones to set priorities for the team.
  • Add leadership development to the board agenda at least once a year.

(You’ll also want to take a look at this post where we discuss if your organization has a culture that expects reports or results)

I know that commitment isn’t the issue with you. So, if I can take money and time off of the table for you, would you say yes to a leadership development program for your people?

Do you want to talk more about organizational coaching and building better teams? Click here to read about the consulting services I offer or get in touch to book a call.

Before I sign off, I’d also like to share two of my favourite quotes with you:

‘Time is the only finite resource.’ – Simon Sinek (https://www.startwithwhy.com/)

‘Many people are silently begging to be led.’ – Jay Abraham (http://www.abraham.com/)

Did you learn a lot from this post about leadership development programs?

Here are three more to read next:

This post about leadership development programs was first published in 2014 and updated in 2021 just for you.