It’s a question that keeps executives up at night and perplexes virtually everyone who has ever been in a managerial role: What actually develops leaders and prepares them for the challenges that lie ahead? There are scores of leadership training programs in the marketplace. Many of them teach excellent concepts and some deliver powerful experiences. But do they work? Do they improve leaders’ performance?
Yes and no.
Training is actually among the least effective ways to increase performance, especially leader effectiveness. Despite this common knowledge, companies commonly look to training as their first and sometimes only way to prepare people for leadership positions.
Managers have responsibility for developing their people and for preparing their successors, but they are not trained as educators or developmental psychologists, so they are often ill-prepared for this responsibility. Additionally, managers are often so focused on “the work” that they don’t have time to nurture talent on their teams. Human resource professionals, who managers often look to for help, are often in a similar situation. HR generalists can be stretched so thin across multiple roles that they don’t acquire necessary leadership development expertise. HR specialists focus on unique disciplines, e.g., compensation, benefits, or recruiting. As a result, development is often outsourced to the training department. This is a regrettable, but common, practice. There are, however, other practical and effective solutions that keep managers in the “driver’s seat” and HR professionals in the backseat providing guidance and support.
Approved for 1.25 SHRM PDC's and HRCI credits
Michael Boyes is seasoned coach and consultant with 30 years of experience helping leaders grow personally and working with them to build healthy and productive teams in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. His career includes experience in large energy and medical systems as well as consulting firms serving a variety of industries, including: financial services, manufacturing, higher education, arts, professional services and the federal government. As a coach, Mr. Boyes serves all levels of leaders, from team leads to C-suite executives and is particularly skilled at bringing clarity to their dilemmas so they can make wise decisions.
Over the course of his career Michael, has led virtually all types of talent management, performance management, and culture change initiatives in private, non-profit, and federal workplaces. In recent years his focus has turned toward strategic planning and senior leadership team development.
Michael graduated from West Chester University with a B.A. in Psychology. In 1988, upon earning a M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Akron, he relocated to Baltimore, MD where he began a career as a consulting psychologist. Later in his career he became a certified coach and sat on the board of the MD Chapter of the International Coaching Federation.
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