Where Are All The Great Leaders?

Despite billions of dollars being spent each year on leadership training, a lack of solid leaders is still a chief complaint of CEO’s. In 2018, businesses spent a whopping $366 billion globally, yet despite this massive investment in leadership training, it’s not resulting in producing quality leaders.

I am always reminded of the saying, “people don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses.” This is still happening far too much and it’s costing businesses thousands of dollars and they lose great people. Creating great leaders is essential, if businesses want to be able to survive in today’s ultra-competitive world, especially in retail.

Here are some reasons why the massive investment in leadership training is not producing the results:

1) Leadership is hard and takes effort. A number of people selected to be leaders, don’t want to take on the extra challenge that leading people entails. They don’t see the value in becoming a leader, instead they see challenges such as, having to discipline people, more paperwork and extra hours for a small increase in pay.

2) Some leadership training just doesn’t work. Training these days needs to be fast paced and interactive, to capture and hold the attendee’s attention. Also the way we lead people has changed dramatically and today’s leadership training has to reflect this.

3) Training often happens after the event. Most leaders receive training too late, they have already been in the role a number of years before they receive any type of leadership training. According to the Harvard Business Review, most first-time managers have an average age of 30, yet the average age managers first receive any leadership training is age 42.

4) Too much training and not enough coaching. Learning the skills to become a better leader means putting in place new behaviours and breaking bad habits. This is hard without ongoing coaching back on the job, as it is so easy to slip back into old habits. The trainee leaders manager, has to step up and provide support, before, during and after the training to ensure the new behaviours are put in place and reinforced.

It is important to identify leadership talent early on and provide training so these new leaders are set up to succeed and not get burnt out and fail. And supporting their leaders needs to be a top goal for companies—even after that leadership training is complete.

Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.