Can training create great leaders or managers

Recently I have been involved in several discussions around developing leaders and managers within organisations and the role that training, coaching and mentoring plays in creating and developing people to be great leaders or managers or both. I rocked the boat a little when I expressed the opinion that while it was possible to create great managers through training and development, the same was not the case with leaders. Training can make people who already are or who have the potential to be great leaders better, but it cannot create them.

This appeared to challenge the pervailing feeling of several members of the group who suggested that everyone could be a leader they simply need the to have leadership skills taught to them and dveloped in them and as a result of this they would become leaders.
While I think this is definately the case with management and managers where there is a set of skills that can be taught to people and then those skills developed over time, that most people have the potential to be good managers. What stops or inhibites people from becoming good managers is their level of motivation to achieve that goal.

This is not the case with leadership and leaders. While there are many skill sets that people point at as the set of skills that leaders should possess, just teaching and developing these skills to people does not by necessity make them leaders. There is something else they need and whether you call it vision or intutiion or whatever name it takes, it is something that you cannot give to people who dont possess it, no matter the amount of training, coaching or mentoring provided.

I would be really interested to see what other people thought about this.

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About pauldrasmussen
Paul is the winner of the 2013 Leadership in VET Quality Award and the 2013 LearnX Learning Manager of the year award. A Thought Leader and Speaker on Organisational Learning, Professional Development, Motivation, Leadership, Management and Professional Ethics, he speaks widely and has published work on the areas of Learning and Development, Learning ROI, Business, Management, Leadership and Ethics. With Qualifications in Ethics and Bioethics, Organisational Learning and Development, Training, and Business Management and Leadership, Paul has worked in and with a wide range of public, private, government and not for profit organisations. He is currently the National Training Manager for Spectrum Training and the principal consultant with Rasmussen Learning. Specialties: • Organisational Learning and Development • Ethics (Business, Professional and Theoretical) • Learning Management and ROI • Professional Speaking • RTO Management • E-Learning • Management • Leadership • Learning Management Systems

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