Most Leadership Training is unnecessary.
Certainly, at anything below Senior Management level.
This is spoken as someone who actively makes a living training Managers.
However you measure success or failure, I suggest that it is simply not needed.
And the reason is that most Leadership Training is based on a false premise:
That people need a leader.
This speaks to an assumption that, like extras on a film-set, employees are passive participants in all that goes on around them.
Just standing around waiting to be told what to do by someone who knows.
Imagine an elite military unit.
How would the conversation go if an officer turned up and says to a team of these guys:
‘Ok, lads, I’m going to be in charge from now on’.
'In charge of what?'
'In charge of what you do.'
'Oh, really? Good luck with that.'
Because it’s not necessary.
These teams follow certain protocols.
They are trained spectacularly well and are extraordinarily self-motivated.
They know what they’re doing.
Just explain the mission, tell them the required outcome...
...and then get the hell out of their way.
So, why can’t we all work like this?
Well, of course, we can.
We just don’t.
We are in the habit of deferring to leaders.
Some of whom may be equipped for the job, some that aren’t.
In a High Performance Team environment, the responsibility for the day-to-day running of the facility is handed over to the people getting the job done.
Which is exactly as it should be – they’re the ones that do the work and know how to fix the issues that come up.
Why should they go and seek guidance or, worse, permission, from a Manager?
This, in turn, frees up the Management Team to… well, manage.
No need for leadership training, because the environment is collaborative, rather than directive.
That doesn’t mean that:
and all the other aspects of what we call leadership training aren’t useful.
They’re just not burdened with the label of leadership skills.
They're just skills.