Evan Goodman

Leadership Training vs. Leadership Development

What is Leadership Training?

Training and development in leadership help determine those who are likely to be leaders. It also expands the skills and expertise of those already in leadership positions.

Based on the business’s needs today, leaders might need to be trained in both hard and soft skills.

For instance, up or upcoming leaders might need to learn skills like the ability to listen, resolve conflicts, and manage time so they can assume their roles.

On the contrary, business owners and managers could require training to stay abreast of emerging trends and new technologies (like Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality) to define the company’s strategy better.

What is Leadership Development?

Leadership development refers to a range of programs and activities that aim to enhance and improve the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities of individuals. 

These initiatives are designed to promote personal and professional growth, as well as to facilitate effective decision-making, communication, and problem-solving.

Mentoring and business coaching are two kinds of development commonly used to assist and guide leaders.

Many studies show that the success of leadership development is influenced heavily by the program/mentor/coach’s quality, level of support and acceptance from superiors, and the characteristics/learning style of the person being developed.

Differences Between Leadership Training & Leadership Development:

  1. Developmentis more people-focussed.
  2. Developmentis always more interested in developing potential.
  3. Training is based on transactions. Development is based on transformations.
  4. Developmentis growth-based.
  5. Development will be more interested in the individual than the position.
  6. Development attempts to educate, and training attempts to teach.
  7. Development is a force in culture but does not attempt to suppress it.
  8. Developmentencourages performance over compliance.
  9. Training is more concerned with efficiency rather than efficacy.
  10. Training is (often) based on problems, whereas development is based on solutions.
  11. The development process explores the unknown while training focuses on what’s known.
  12. The process of development is continuous, whereas training is often ‘one-off’s.

Why Should You Invest in the Field of Leadership Development and Training?

According to a report released by Harvard Business School, three significant forces are changing what it means to work and creating an urgent need for leadership education:

  • Rapid globalization: by 2025, most Forbes Global 2000 public companies will be in the emerging market. Leaders will need to learn new skills to cross-cultural and physical borders and lead teams across national borders.
  • Remote workers are on the rise. Within the next decade, a vast amount of the workforce will be remote workers, freelancers and contractors. Leaders must learn how to manage teams with dispersed members and interact with and connect these teams.
  • Generational gap: Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z are advancing to leadership roles and bringing fresh concepts related to learning and work. This puts pressure on traditional leadership methods, requiring training and education to deal with different perspectives.

Lastly, a compelling motive to invest in training leaders is the gap in leadership – the fact that companies are struggling to fill leadership roles with highly capable and qualified leaders.