I was discussing leadership development with a client the other day and they asked me where other businesses had gone wrong with their leadership programs. There are many reasons, but it got me thinking about the three I see most often: 

When the leadership development budget is spent only on senior leaders

I recently heard the staggering statistic that only 5% of businesses have implemented leadership development across all levels of leadership. Organisations who are getting leadership development right, are the ones who are putting just as much energy into developing the leaders who are leading the majority of the people, as well as the leaders leading the business strategy. 

Leaders aren’t given enough time to make sustained leadership behavioural change

I often see clients identify that they need to develop their leaders and think that sitting them in a training room for three hours will equip them to become outstanding leaders. Regardless of how good the content was in the workshop, if participants don’t put their learning into action soon after the session, chances are the learnings will be lost. Organisations need to make sure their leaders have time to practise, take accountability and put into action what they have learned, gain feedback from others, measure their success, and then practise some more. 

Organisations don’t create an environment where leaders are allowed to, or feel safe to learn from their mistakes

Few people are born with all of the attributes that will make them a successful leader. Some of the best leadership lessons are the hardest, and everyone makes mistakes. An organisation who picks up their leaders after they fall, helps them to understand how to do it better next time without ridicule or punishment, will develop brave, innovative and resilient leaders.  

At Davidson HR Consulting we design Leadership Development Programs that deliver to your organisation measurable impact, from leadership fundamentals to challenging and experimental Executive programs.

If your Leadership Development Programs are guilty of any of the three above (or need a bit of a revamp) give me a call. 


Lindy MacPherson, Group Manager, Davidson HR Consulting