Article authored by Qualigence CEO & founder Steve Lowisz

As a leader, I know you’re focused on solving key business challenges, including those related to leadership development. You might even lay awake at night wondering how to overcome leadership growth struggles like hitting your numbers or engaging, retaining, and developing your people. I’ve talked to countless leaders dealing with these same leadership development challenges.

Let’s take a look at ways in which leaders often stand in the way of progress at their company. Leadership development is a key part of changing how we lead and driving better results – but often this is where leaders undercut their efforts the most. 

Mandating Leadership Development – But Not Participating Themselves 

You know what’s a load of BS? When C-suite bigwigs preach the gospel of leadership development, yet they’re nowhere to be found in those workshops. It’s like hiring a personal trainer and binging on junk food while expecting a six-pack. Get real! 

You can’t preach leadership growth and then skulk away when it’s your turn to learn. Leading by example isn’t just lip service; it’s walking the walk. If you’re not willing to invest in your leadership journey, why should anyone else bother? 

Listen up, nobody’s born a leadership rockstar – not even you. Embrace the process of learning and improving. When you put in the effort to become a better leader, the results speak for themselves. 

Passing Off Leadership Development to HR 

If you’re treating a leadership development program as an HR checkbox, then it’s time for a reality check. Passing the buck to HR is like handing over the wheel to someone who can’t even read a map.  

Your company’s leadership needs to grab this bull by the horns. When the troops see you leading the charge, they’ll follow. But if you dump it all on HR and go back to your corner office, you’re essentially admitting that leadership isn’t your problem. Spoiler alert: it is. 

Don’t just give your team the illusion of progress; show them what real leadership looks like. Stamp your name on it, drive its mission, and tear down the silos between you and your people. Only then can you expect everyone to truly buy in. 

Launching Leadership Development Programs That Don’t Teach Real Leadership 

Look, I get it. Spreadsheets and reports are just easier to teach. But real leadership isn’t about administrative busywork. It’s about human connections, inspiring your team to move mountains, and navigating through chaos with unwavering resolve. 

Your leadership development program needs to be a gritty boot camp for the mind. Teach your future leaders to cut through the fluff and hone the skills that matter. Empower them to lead with grit, passion, and authenticity. It’s time to ditch the superficial measures of success and focus on building leaders who inspire teams to follow them because they WANT to…not because they have to. 

If You Want to See Change…BE the Change 

Here’s the bottom line: as a leader, you can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. It’s time to shatter the illusions, the excuses, and the complacency. If you want to see change, be the change.  

Dive into leadership development headfirst, lead by example, and let your influence inspire a culture of growth. Your organization’s challenges are a mirror reflecting your leadership. So, ask yourself: are you ready to own the solution or will you remain stuck in the cycle of problems you’ve helped create? The choice is yours, and it’s time to make it count.