January 2024

How to get Leadership Training to Hit the Mark

By Dennis F. Haley

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Lead2Succeed™ Program

According to a survey of over 500 managers released by Grovo and fielded by Wakefield Research, 44% of new managers are unprepared to manage. The research shows 87% of managers wish they had received more training after being promoted, and 80% of managers who receive training fail to maintain behavioral changes after 6 months. Why?

Traditional classroom leadership training is not effective if the desired outcome is improved performance. When large volumes of info are given during a short training session, participants:

We learn best when learning is spaced out over time and interweaved with lots of real-world deliberate practice and reinforcement.

Dr. K. Anders Ericsson, Conradi Eminent Scholar at Florida State University notes what truly differentiates the expert performers from the good performers is hours of practice (PEAK 2016).

You need a particular kind of practice — deliberate practice — to develop expertise. When most people practice, they focus on the things they already know how to do. Deliberate Practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustainable efforts to do something you can't do well — or even at all.


It's not just to reach your potential, but to build it, to make things possible that were not possible before.


The hallmark of Deliberate Practice is that you try to do something you cannot do — that takes you out of your comfort zone — and that you practice it over and over again, focusing on exactly how you are doing it, where you are falling short, and how you can get better (PEAK 2016).

A Deliberate Practice experiment was held in a Physics class. The goal was to get the students to practice thinking like physicists, rather than feeding information to them.

The results were amazing — 2.5 standard deviations better than the traditional classes. Expertise or superior performance is achieved when managers start to think like leaders during their purposeful Deliberate Practice.

Good people become great leaders through continual learning and deliberate practice. When organizations define the behaviors that constitute good leadership and design the training experience to reflect these behaviors the training program becomes transformative. They stop thinking about leadership training as a means to increase what leaders know, and instead transform what they know into what they do, the program closes the Knowing–Doing Gap.

When designing and facilitating a leadership training program that promotes Deliberate Practice it is essential to:

If you approach leadership development as a process that includes deliberate practice, rather than an event, you will enable lasting and large-scale change in the performance of your team and positively impact your bottom-line.

Academy Leadership's Lead2Succeed™ Program implements Deliberate Practice. This powerful program is customized and focused on your team's key leadership challenges and provides participants with the tools and strategies needed to immediately apply back on the job. Developing Leaders Who Deliver Results!