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Do people REALLY get what is meant by leadership development when it is marketed as a service?

Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on

Marketing leadership programs, coaching and consulting can be tricky. Ever notice that some people feel ashamed while others feel special to be sent for leadership coaching or development? “Maybe people will think something is wrong with me.” “Maybe they are considering me for a promotion.” It is important that coaches and leadership consultants market in a way that helps remove this stigma.  Years ago I did not always do that. I also strive to avoid the word training with leadership, although that’s a bit harder to do than it sounds.

Leadership development is all about optimizing relationships. So while it is true that leadership is also about being a visionary, if CEOs with a great vision cannot create buy-in, then they have a leadership crisis on their hands regarding their relationships with others.  No matter what the definition of leadership, success ultimately falls back on the quality of the leaders’ relationships within and beyond their corporate setting.

So, whether you are a client or vendor in this industry, how do you describe leadership development or whatever it is that you want to get out of such training (see, it’s hard to avoid that word!)? What key words do you use or look for to show the by-products of leadership services? What will it take for you to know you’ve had a successful leadership development experience?