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Evaluating Leadership Development Opportunities

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Continued professional development is important even for experienced business leaders. The business landscape is constantly evolving, employee expectations are shifting, and leaders are asked daily to deal with unfamiliar situations. While there is no shortage of leadership development opportunities, not all are created equal. Before investing time and other resources into a particular class, book, or course, several questions should be asked. First, are these lessons practical in their application? A lot of leadership development is based on theories that may make sense in the abstract but lack real-world evidence of success. Second, assess if the opportunity allows personalization for unique applications. Too much leadership development material is one-size-fits-all and at best will only apply to certain aspects of your situation. The best leadership development is highly customizable to what the individual leader is experiencing. Third, it should blend technical and human skills to spur innovation. Finally, ask if it is taught by practitioners. There are plenty of good teachers out there, but unless they are practicing what they are preaching every day, the advice may fall flat.

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