Leadership development and training

August 16, 2017 by Wally Bock

Sarah Fister Gale has an excellent article in Workforce with the title, “Learning & Development Today: Microsized, Personalized and Really, Really Short.” Here’s the opening paragraph.

“In today’s on-demand world, employees want training at the moment they need it, and they want it to align with their learning style and knowledge. That’s driving many learning technology vendors and content providers to build analytics tools that can match learning content to the needs of employees.”

That sounds good, and it is. It’s just not complete.

Leadership development is about learning, not just training

Training is great, if. It’s great if you know what’s needed and wanted and if you have a way to deliver training to fill both the need and the want. That isn’t always the case.

Sometimes people don’t know what training they need and they don’t know how to request it in words and phrases that the training department understands. Sometimes training is in a bigger chunk than the person wants or needs right now.

Sometimes a person just wants information or pointers to resources, not full-blown training. Often, the goal isn’t to master a full skill set, it’s to solve a problem right now.

And, training always has a “back-on-the-job” piece that is most effective when there’s a coach or accountability partner involved. That’s part of the social component.

Leadership development is a social activity

Leadership is a social activity and so is leadership development. People learn in the workflow and they learn a lot from the people around them. Instead of “training,” people often want a pointer to someone who can help them. They figure they can take the learning from there.

Here’s the bottom line. If we’re going to do the best job of helping aspiring leaders develop, we’re going to have to leave an awful lot up to them and get over the idea that training knows all the questions and all the answers.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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  • Shubha Bapat Apte

    A very apt observation. Good Post! Leadership development is really more about learning than training. Unfortunately the on the job component of the training never gets done and training loses its effectiveness. Having a coach or an accountability partner always works as a post training requirement .

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