Leadership training is important. So many problems arise from poor leadership. Sadly leadership ability is assumed where it is absent. For instance, someone with a degree or some specialized skillset may be assumed to be an automatic leader. Yet this is mostly not the case. Yes, some people seem to exhibit natural leadership ability. However, they often need to be fine-tuned. The bottom line is that leadership training is imperative. Many do conduct or undergo leadership training. Yet indications are that most leadership training flops. Let us explore why and possible solutions to that.

Core Reasons Why Most Leadership Training Fails

There are basically 3 reasons that lead to leadership training failure. How those dynamics present themselves vary from context to context. It is important to be wary of these reasons. Ignoring or not being aware of them renders any leadership training efforts futile. Here they are:

Unwilling Participants

“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you” – Zig Ziglar

In order for one to learn they need to have a growth mindset. Sadly not everyone has that. For many people it is a mindset that needs to be instilled in them. Most of the time leadership training is done without ascertaining the interest levels of the participants. Do they really want to undergo leadership training? Are they willing and committed to take and practise what they will learn? These are questions that often times are not explored. No matter how potent leadership training efforts are if a participant is unwilling, it will flop. That is why it may be essential to first of all inspire earmarked participants. When one is genuinely interested, it opens up prospects for transformative results.

Generic Approach

I have noticed this with most leadership training programs, initiatives, or events. There is more focus on covering comprehensive ground. This typically leads to lack of specificity and depth. In other words, the leadership training is seldom customized with and to the respective audience in mind. Leadership training should be tailored to suit the ones being trained. What are their skillsets, what is their operating context like, what are their shortcomings, what are their experiences, and so on? Such variables should inform your leadership training approach. Customize; do not be generic by using just any approach maybe because it is used universally.

Occasional Training

This is yet another reason why most leadership training fails. How many times is leadership training actively done at your workplace, company or organization? In most cases it can be some workshop or outing done once or never in a year. Actually most leadership training is confined to events which are done rarely. The event approach obviously costs money which is why trainings cannot be done regularly.

Chances are by the time another training session is done the previous one will be obsolete. Leadership training should be on-going; it should never stop. It should never be done only at certain times. Even if there are leadership training events, they should not be too far apart. It is important that a system should be built that cultivates leadership training on a daily basis. That way what is learnt is assimilated and constantly reinforced.

3 Cs For Effective Leadership Training

There are 3 core areas you must focus on in order to make leadership training most effective. If you pay close attention to them leadership training will fall in line. These are:


Culture here pertains to the beliefs, values, conduct, and material objects that constitute a group of people’s way of doing things. This is basically referring to company culture or whatever context is involved. There is a particular culture that must be cultivated to make leadership training effective. For example, there is need for a culture that allows contrary views without fear of victimization or termination.

There is a need for a culture that values and promotes mental health. There must be a culture that encourages, promotes, and rewards innovation. The overall culture must be growth-oriented. This means growth is prioritized and invested in. These are just some examples but first off, the right culture must be built. This will of course largely depend on the vision and mission of the entity in mind.


Due time must be taken in determining the content of any leadership training. Remember it must be custom or tailor-made with the target audience in mind. Content will again vary greatly depending on what you intend to achieve. However, let me cite two areas that must form part of your content. There should be leadership training content focused on critical thinking and emotional intelligence. Literally any leadership-related issue is influenced by those two areas. Overall, be wary of being too theoretical or bookish. Your content must major on practical application rather than just sense knowledge.


Community means a group of people sharing a common understanding, and often the same language, law, manners, and or tradition. Be it a company, organization, or institution the people involved become a community. This means your approaches must be aimed at collective participation, support, and growth. People generally learn best when operating in a pool of other people. Thus leadership training should inculcate teamwork. No wonder why teambuilding is an essential tool in leadership training. Make participants understand that whatever they do has direct and indirect bearings on others around them. Encourage collaborative approaches in handling tasks. A sense of community breeds responsible people who are not reckless in their actions and decisions.

Once you internalize all we discussed and implement it, leadership training becomes a breeze. It will not matter you are the one conducting the leadership training or undergoing it, it will be effective in the end. “There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them” – John C Maxwell.