Although American companies spend upwards of $14 billion on leadership development each year, only 19% of organizations feel they are “very effective” at developing leaders. What’s worse, only 18% of organizations feel their leaders effectively meet business goals. Where is this discrepancy coming from? How can organizations effectively develop leaders throughout their organization?

With approximately 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, leadership development has emerged as one of the most pressing issues facing organizations. Traditional leadership development efforts fail to produce the caliber of leaders necessary to drive high performance. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, there are four major reasons why traditional leadership development programs fail.

First, they overlook context. They teach simplified versions of leadership skills and expect them to work the same in any business context. They assume “one size fits all,” and disregard the nuance of different organizations, their cultures, and how their employees expect their leaders to behave. Companies often craft complicated and unclear webs of mission statements and core values when what they really need is to develop a clear and simple purpose – where is the company going? And what is the ideal path for getting there? Establishing and communicating company purpose helps employees connect their daily actions directly to the company’s ultimate mission.

Second, they fail to integrate newly learned leadership skills with on-the-job duties. Oftentimes even the most capable leaders struggle to integrate new skills into their daily work routine. By weaving leadership skills into the goal of projects themselves, organizations will effectively balance leadership development and completion of daily tasks.

Third, organizations fail to challenge their leaders’ underlying mindsets and assumptions – a necessary component of changing behavior. Because it is uncomfortable for everyone involved, organizations often steer away from addressing how their employees think. However, without a little (or a lot) of discomfort, and an honest conversation about underlying beliefs and assumptions, a change in behavior is unlikely.

Finally, companies typically fail to measure the impact of leadership development on the leaders themselves and the organization as a whole. While leadership skills are technically “soft skills,” they are quantifiable. Measuring the impact of leadership improvement efforts can include participant feedback, career development, and success of business initiatives. Without tracking and measuring the impact of leadership development efforts, organizations send the message that leadership initiatives are not to be taken seriously.

Organizations understand the importance of leadership development efforts in building high performing teams. Until now there wasn’t a process that simultaneously developed foundational leadership skills in managers, soft or people skills in team members, and strengthened relationships to both the team and organization as a whole. When combined with our Team Leader Guide (TLG), the Performance Certification System (PCS) delivers highly effective leadership development, along with team skill development and improved organizational effectiveness.

Utilizing the TLG, leaders and teams complete the PCS trainings together and have brief daily meetings to discuss and reinforce the skill du jour. By focusing each day towards interpersonal skills presented in the PCS, employees and leaders are able to integrate the trainings into their daily routine. Consistent and intentional daily team interaction based upon the PCS and facilitated by the TLG will create a success-focused, collaborative organization, ensuring long-term organizational high-performance.

If you are seeking to implement successful leadership and team skill development, improve relationships, and build a success-focused culture within your organization, contact ELI today!