I was thinking about the wide range of choices we have to develop leaders today.  Check that, leadership programs that others who supervise managers can check off their to-do list.

There are so many options to develop leadership available and in use today.  Below is my Top 10 Mistakes list.  Feel free to respond with any big ones I may have missed, and of course, your commentary.

  1. We send a manager to a workshop they received a brochure in the mail for last week.
  2. We send a manager to college or university workshop because they are on a special list.
  3. We custom design a workshop and then make sure every single on of the managers on staff, from every business unit, will attend the required 3 day workshop.
  4. We send our managers to a tried and true seminar/training company given 100 page catalog we received – since quality increases with more four color and number of pages.
  5. We have our senior leaders decide that this manager should have an executive coach.
  6. We have the company purchase computer-based training that the managers don’t have to leave to attend or learn from – plus, we can track their test scores.
  7. We send managers to one of those national training company’s seminars at the coliseium that is headlined by some former mayor – fireworks optional, but lights & sound for sure.
  8. We have managers goes through a seminar that is meant to be 2 days in length, but because our people are so good and there’s so much fluff, our people only need 90 minutes – accelerated learning.
  9. We want to spark innovation and trust so we have our managers attend a special experiential training program where they get to spend the day outside with ropes and gizmo’s.
  10. We want to demonstrate our commitment to training.  We hire a young professional who may not have worked in our industry, send them to a supervisory train-the-trainer program, and have he or she come back to train our supervisors.

These are many of the ways we think we can train managers and leaders.  In and of themselves, they are neither good or bad.  The lack of impact has more to do with how poorly we implement them.  For example, we should guide major efforts of any type with an advisory board or executive sponosor.  They can help us plan and raise the importance of follow-through as well.  All too often we focus only on the training or learning event.

Let me confess that I have made many of this mistakes.  That’s why I started each of the statements with the word we.  So much money wasted.  So many organizations available to support leadership development in the right way.

Have we learned what not to do?  Is our practioner group getting better and better?  Are we more realistic in what it takes?  Do we have the right people on the bus?  Let me know.