Why does leadership development program fail?

Companies are trying hard to develop internal leaders but they are finding it hard. After asking internal managers to follow rules for many years, they suddenly expect them to behave like leaders. A leader has to search out to explore new boundaries which an internal candidate may not do.

My company recently injected fresh blood at middle level. For first few months, they got VIP treatment. CEO was having dinner with them frequently. Now, Management’s view is fading away. Especially in Indian family owned business, head of business loves his 50+ friends / loyalist at top level. Injecting 30 years old at middle level may not serve purpose, as new leader has to wait for next 20 years to reach in core team. Do they have so much patience?

These leadership development programs are failing. They can’t develop in corporate laboratory. Leadership needs test of time and open challenges. They should work in high challenging environment/projects. Then only they will understand the pain in leadership. Anna Hazare or Dhirubahi never went to any management school. They learned it through hand on experience. No 9 to 6 job can develop a leader. This may be my personal opinion.   

If management is serious on development program, they have to have patience. They have to build repo and show commitment. Chankya worked on Chandragupta for years to get him up on ladder. It is like showing dreams and helping them to achieve. Instead of branding these program as talent retention one, management should own it like growing a tree. People have power to grow. No technology can replace it.  Great people can reap great dreams.

Just eyeing outside for right talent may not help. I have seen people came in organization at very high cost and then those fails as they could not compete with internal talent. Talent can’t just be imported. It needs hands on development.

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