Posted by Rachael Jones on Oct 5, 2022 8:50:00 AM

Why Leadership Training Fails, and What To Do About It

Why leadership training fails, and what to do about it

According to a new Capterra survey, almost half of organizations increased their learning and development (L&D) budgets by 20% in 2022. But despite the investment, many organizations still struggle to establish effective leadership skills in their workforce.

In today’s business environment—which is influenced by an increasingly hybrid workforce, digital transformation, and significant market changes—organizations need effective leadership more than ever. Effective leadership training helps organizations improve employee engagement and retention, foster productivity, and drive business growth.

Why does leadership training fail, and what can you do about it?
Lets examine 4 potential ways to address Leadership Training failures.

  1. Defining clear, measurable objectives

Many leadership training programs fail because they don’t identify clear objectives that address their organization’s unique goals. Off-the-shelf training programs might seem like a good investment, however sometimes these L&D solutions won’t provide an ROI because they overlook your organization’s specific learning requirements. They’ll also have challanges providing you with the target metrics that you need to measure progress.

Before implementing a leadership training program, consult company leadership to understand skills gaps and define the program’s desired outcomes. At this stage, you should also define measurable targets that learners can work towards during training and long-term implementation. Consider developing custom training solutions rather than one-size-fits-all programs.

  1. Applying real-world skills

Leadership training courses can span several focus areas, from strategic planning, performance management, coaching, etc. Some organizations invest in leadership training courses that seem like a good fit on paper but provide learners with theoretical knowledge rather than practical skills that translate to their daily tasks.

Leadership training programs should incorporate activities and projects that help leaders practice new skills and integrate feedback. These skills should align with the leadership training goals your organization has already defined.    

  1. Training the right people

Many organizations provide leadership training for employees that have been in their roles the longest, have the most expertise in their field, or have the highest performance. However, putting these employees into leadership positions isn’t always the best solution. Leadership roles require specific skills to succeed, and these don’t always belong to subject matter experts or high performers.

Assess which employees already exhibit effective leadership traits and are interested in and willing to fill leadership roles. Revisit your organization’s defined goals and desired outcomes to inform the selection process and focus your leadership training resources on the right people.

  1. Providing ongoing training

Even if you’ve defined your training objectives, considered real-world skills applications, and invested in the right people, leadership training doesn’t end when the course is over. Businesses change and organizations need to adapt to new leadership demands.

High performing organizations set aside funds in their budget for leadership development. Ongoing leadership training involves performance reviews, mentorship opportunities, skills assessment, problem solving and further development training.


These guidelines will help your organization develop the leadership skills needed to support your talent management strategy.


When you have recognized that some problems require a more methodical, inclusive process in order to get to the root of the problem the fish bone exercise can be a valuable tool!

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Topics: leadership development consultant, leadership development consultants, leadership development training, leadership development, leadership development program, effective leadership skills training, Effective Leadership Training, Leadership Development Training Plan, leadership training

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