The Surprising Reason Your Leadership Program is Failing

Is your company suffering from a “Leadership Gap?”
If so, you’re not alone.  According to a recent study from Bersin by Deloitte, “Companies are struggling to improve their leadership skills; more than 60 percent of all companies cite ‘leadership gaps’ as their top business challenge.”

And, this is in an environment where the largest share of most companies’ Learning and Development budgets — more than one third — goes to leadership development.

When it comes to developing future leaders, corporate investment level is strong. So, why are results so weak?

If your company is like most, your leadership programs are attended by a select group of high-potential, fast-track candidates. Content topics likely include: strategy development and execution, the current industry landscape, and MBA-type business acumen. Your program may even feature exposure to senior executives and job rotation through a variety of organizational functions.

Yet, you could be missing the most critical skill set: communication skills.

Especially critical are those communication skills used during live and virtual team meetings, project kick-offs, and monthly briefings. Mandel’s Brad Holst drove this home in his recent Harvard ManageMentor® video. He said, “What people don’t realize is that giving a presentation is a huge career opportunity. For those few moments, your ideas and your credibility are center stage.”

When the spotlight shines on your future leaders in these “make or break” moments of truth, how they perform matters.

How well they communicate will have a direct impact on your organization’s productivity and morale. Regardless of their level of business knowledge, if your future leaders can’t communicate in ways that inspire confidence and influence others, your other investments in leadership development will be for nought.

What kind of returns are your investments in leadership development generating? Could poor communication skills be sabotaging the success of your program?

Watch this Harvard ManageMentor video to learn more about why communication skills training might just be the smartest leadership development investment you can make.


Picture of David Mears

David Mears

Formerly Chief Sales Officer at Mandel, David was responsible for the organization’s sales growth, as well as for key strategic global accounts. He is an expert in sales strategy development and execution and regularly consults with Fortune 500 companies about their sales strategy design and execution plans. Prior to his work with Mandel, David was an executive team member at BayGroup International, where he was involved in both internal and client-facing strategic project work. David has also held senior roles with Learning International.
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