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We’re Doing Leadership All Wrong – Let’s Fix That!

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We’re doing leadership all wrong and it drives me batty 🤬

We throw people in the deep end with no training or support, and then scratch our heads trying to figure out why they aren’t achieving the goals we set them.

And the worst bit is that, instead of throwing them a lifeline, we criticise them and undermine their confidence. And that makes it even harder for them to learn how to swim.

I get it – so many experienced leaders never got any decent training or support when they got started. So it’s hard to know how to help! And a tiny part of us might even think, “It’s all part of sorting out those who can from those who can’t”.

But as the old saying goes, “If we keep doing what we’ve always done, we’ll continue to get what we’ve always got.”

A moody photograph looking across a large body of water to a thin strip of land in the background. There are dark clouds above the water. Out of the water is a single hand raised to the sky, with ripples spreading out.
Photo by Ayyub Jauro on Pexels

Leadership training is severely lacking

Recent research by the UK Chartered Institute of Management showed that 82% of the 1,000 leaders surveyed had no formal training when they started their leadership journey.

My research with leaders from Aotearoa New Zealand over the last 9 months indicates a similar issue – of 16 leaders I have interviewed so far, only one had any formal training offered in the first couple of years. That makes nearly 94% with no formal training until they were several years in.

If you were bringing on a new team member who had never done that particular role before, you wouldn’t just sit them in the seat and say “We’ll train you how to do your job in a couple of years – but you’ve gotta reach these performance targets in the meantime”.

The impact of untrained leaders

When we don’t train our people for the new skills, mindset, and strategies they need to succeed as leaders, we set them up to fail. 

And yet we act surprised when:

❌ our new leaders don’t live up to their potential,

❌ their team members are frustrated (and in many cases, leave the organisation!), and

❌ overall results fall far short of what we had hoped.

The answer: Leadership training before it's needed

No more “Congrats on your promotion! Here’s your new job description, there’s your new team over there. See ya next month for your one-on-one review!”.

We need to do things differently.

We need to equip people with interpersonal skills before they start their leadership journey, and then continue that support as they get their feet under the desk in their new role.

And that starts with delivering bite-size pieces of practical knowledge that people can practice together, then walk out the door and apply immediately.

Because learning isn’t complete until you’ve given it a whirl in the real world – that’s where you really hone your skills and get your return on investment.

Leadership training done differently

In the near future, I’m going to be launching the Lightning Leadership Lab for emerging and early-career leaders.

This programme involves short, high-impact, practical, and action-oriented workshops, with resources, exercises, and online support and coaching to help your leaders learn and apply their new skills, fast. 

We put the puzzle-pieces of effective, engaging leadership together each month, ensuring that your people develop the full picture of what they and their teams need to thrive and do their best work.

Sign up below to get on the waitlist and be the first in the know when the programme goes live. 

Sign up to the waitlist

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