A friend of mine once attended a Leadership Development workshop all the way in the US. I supposed it was a huge investment by the company who hired an external facilitator and flew talents from all over the world. I was surprised when my friend showed me her course material. It was basically a presentation skills workshop. And they did do the typical presentation training drill e.g. stand up to present, video-taped, receive feedback, etc. I wonder how could a presentation skills workshop be considered as ‘Leadership Development’.
What is ‘Leadership Development’ after all?
In fact, if you ask 10 business executives what they will expect to happen in a ‘Leadership Development’ workshop, you probably have 10 different answers. Probably very different ones. It is like the term ‘Leadership’. See my earlier post on ‘Really.. what is Leadership?’ Further, in my experience, ‘Leadership Development’ does not always carry a good reputation. Some find it very vague and disregard it. Some will welcome it because of the wrong reason e.g. being invited to attend one means ‘I am in the club’.
On reflection, there is actually one (probably unconscious) definition on ‘Leadership Development’ that causes this problem. To many, ‘Leadership Development’ means any development intervention to people in the leadership position. By this definition, this really could mean anything, including presentation skills workshop.
Well, there is no right or wrong definition. I guess the question is whether it is useful. And if it is useful, it should base on a conscious definition on what ‘Leadership’ is.