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Traditional leadership training programs are outdated and ineffective for senior leaders. We've all seen them - a two or three-day retreat offsite; a witty presenter armed with funny video clips, and the nice shiny binder of slick materials (don't forget the binder!). But when participants come back to a blinking light of dozens of voice mails, hundreds of unread emails, and missed deadlines - the great ideas they may have considered last week get buried under the pile. The binder takes its place on the shelf alongside so many others.
Further compounding the problem is the fact that the average adult learner has a difficult time retaining and applying information delivered in a traditional, 'one-to-many' type of format. If the learning is not applied - it will be lost.
These training programs often include "leadership lessons" from sports, or ancient cultures, or worse - case studies. Participants may be entertained, but walk away wondering how to really apply any of those lessons on a daily basis. These programs are simply not rooted in reality.
Finally, many executives don't feel like they "need" development. After all, if they weren't great leaders, how did they manage to rise to this level of their organization?
"Leadership training is for the next generation!" they say.
When leaders have no buy-in, no say in the process that is their own development, it's no wonder that they're not enthusiastic about spending time away from the job.
Luckily, there's a new approach. A leadership development program that isn't time away from the business, but instead time working ON the business. A program that isn't theoretical, but tackles real daily challenges that leaders face. A program that doesn't ignore other parts of the business, but instead includes all functions for broader perspectives. A program that develops the individual (through executive coaching), while simultaneously increasing the capability of the team. A process that helps identify the root cause of problems, rather than misdiagnosing the symptoms. An experiential, iterative program that evolves with its participants. A program that infuses external thought leaders with an experienced, impartial facilitator who is the common thread throughout. A program that strengthens relationships, improves collaboration, breaks down silos, establishes a common language, increases daily execution, improves communication, and above all - helps participants hold each other accountable for the learning.
Oh yeah, and no binders. Just real, honest, open discussions that change behaviors. And finally, a leadership development program that executives are excited to attend because it really engages them - and increases their sense of ownership in their own development and ownership in the future of the business.
Sound too good to be true? It's happening every day in companies around the U.S.
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