September 29, 2021 8 min read

Is leadership training effective?

Before you invest in anything, you'll want to know you're getting your money's worth. You may be saying to yourself "Does my staff really need leadership training?"

The fact is, leadership training is an incredibly effective way to improve your company. It will not only strengthen the abilities of your senior leaders but help identify and reward potential you see in newer team members.

Before choosing a program, there are several common questions most business owners have: What is leadership training, is it effective, and how exactly can it benefit your business?

What is leadership training?

The thing about this type of training is that it isn't one size fits all. There are all sorts of different ways a leadership coach can structure their training. But, in general, leadership training involves educational courses and seminars designed to boost the leadership skills of your staff. It also shows them how exactly to behave in a leadership role.

An effective leadership training program will use different mediums to enhance their lessons, with digital presentations and hands-on learning exercises to make sure each technique is fully understood.

Depending on what leadership programs you look at, the setting can change drastically. A training program may be in a more traditional educational setting, with some leadership courses taught in an environment that mirrors that of a college classroom.

Others can be more informal, with a more personalised feel. Instructors may talk more casually, and introduce topics in a more free-flowing manner. This can take some of the pressure off of these training seminars, and allow people to learn in a more relaxed manner.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both leadership training settings, and which you choose depends on what leadership skills you hope your staff to gain.

What leadership skills can a person learn during leadership training?

During leadership training programs, the current and future leaders of your company will gain a variety of new skills applicable to the corporate world.

These skills will function as tools they can use to tackle any issue they encounter in the workplace and better guide subordinates towards effective and efficient workflow.

Stronger Communication

No matter what type of leadership style a manager has, strong communication is one of the most important leadership skills they can learn. Almost every issue that arises between supervisors and subordinates has its roots in poor communication.

The first step in good leadership development is identifying the hallmarks of poor communication, and eliminating them. Leadership training programs help staff understand what these communication errors are, and how to tastefully remedy any issues that may arise.


The greatest leader is one who practices strong business ethics. In other words, a person who values morality, and practices good morals in the workplace. If you are going to trust someone with the responsibility of leading others, you want them to have strong values.

Good business ethics involves adhering to the laws related to business, as well as unwritten rules of proper conduct. This can mean making sure subordinates receive the time they are allotted for lunch and other breaks, making sure staff are treated fairly and with kindness, and everyone is properly compensated for their time.

Assertive instruction

One of the most difficult parts for those in leadership positions is the need to assert one's authority. Successful leaders are defined by their ability to communicate what they need, and get results. To do this, sometimes a good leader needs to put their foot down, and clearly explain what they need from their supporting staff.

During the leadership development process, supervising staff should learn how to be confident in their instruction, and clear in what they expect from those they supervise. Assertiveness can determine whether or not subordinates respect a supervisor or manager; that respect defines their success.


The ability to negotiate is one of the most vital skills in the business world, and leaders need to be able to negotiate to advance the position of their company. Being assertive can help boost one's strength in negotiation, but it takes more than just that to be an effective negotiator.

During leadership training, participants learn how to act in high-pressure negotiation scenarios, and what actions are required for success. This involves being confident in what your position is before entering any negotiations, but being able to adapt to new challenges that arise during negotiation proceedings.

How to be a mentor

When talking about leadership skills, we often focus on the process of strengthening the individual. But just as important is showing those leaders how they can coach staff members, and even help create future leaders.

During a leadership training program, new supervising staff should learn what it means to be a mentor and the best ways to go about taking an employee under their wing.

Being a mentor means taking the time to show new employees the ropes, and having the patience to take an interest in their training. Great leaders have a better understanding of how to provide direction, and what it takes to develop competent staff.


If someone is in a leadership position, they have to understand the weight and gravity of accountability. A supervisor no longer only has to account for their own work, but the work of those below them.

A lower-quality corporate training course may neglect to emphasize the importance of good accountability, but it can't be overstated. A leader has to take full responsibility for the actions of their subordinates and answer to the outcomes of any project they lead.

This may sound overwhelming, but strong accountability leads to strong results, and higher productivity.

But is leadership training effective?

Time and time again, we see educational institutions talk about the effectiveness of leadership training. Harvard business school even provides a course specifically to craft more effective leadership.

But we can break it down further, for those who are still skeptical. It comes down to what makes someone more effective at anything. If you want to become more proficient at a skill, what do you do? You work at it, educate yourself, and practice that skill until you are an expert.

If you meet a chess grandmaster, know that they started the same as anyone else; by moving a single piece. Every expert guitarist began by struggling to strum out a single chord, and every formula 1 driver started by learning stick shift on a hand-me-down car or truck.

Leadership skills are no different. If you want a supervisor or manager within your company to get better at what they do, they need to hone the skills that allow them to do it.

The only way to do that is by receiving instruction from experts, and working through various exercises to expound upon that instruction. Practice makes perfect, and leadership training programs give participants the avenue to practice skills and receive vital feedback.

Regardless of what their own leadership style is, everyone can benefit from practice and education.

Find a leadership training program that tracks progress with metrics

Some leadership programs are pretty obscure, and you really don't know if you or your leaders are progressing or not.

To avoid this, and ensure you can accurately measure the ROI of your investment, stick with a leadership training program that uses metrics as a goal stick.

Can all leadership styles benefit from leadership training?

Just like there are many different leadership courses, they are many different ways to lead. Creative leadership has its benefits, and you'll want to take different types of leadership behavior into account when choosing potential training candidates.

Any kind of leader can benefit from a leadership course, but understanding what style someone uses can help you better evaluate their effectiveness. Here are several different leadership styles, and what they entail:

Delegative leadership

Delegation is the process of identifying what team members possess different skills and assigning them work based on their proficiency. This allows the supervisor to focus on bigger picture objectives, and direct the overall flow of any particular project. The delegation leader will provide ongoing support, and be there to answer any questions subordinates may have.

Participative Leadership

Participative leadership helps organisational challenges by tackling them as a unit. This leadership style uses the input of all those involved in a project, making them feel valued and engaged in the decision-making process. Such efforts foster a team-like comradery amongst employees and can be a very effective way to accomplish objectives.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership, or "carrot and stick", is a style that involves using punishments and rewards as a strategy for improving performance.

This involves setting clear goals, and rewarding staff members once they have reached those goals. If the goals are not met, a punishment will be doled out. This corporate strategy can be less effective, as the threat of punishment can often lower morale.

Authoritarian leadership

An authoritarian leader is one who takes little advisement from their staff or leadership team and makes decisions based entirely on their own opinions and experience. This can be effective, but it isn't recommended for new leaders or those less confident in their leadership capabilities.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership is a more experimental style of leading that involves strong emotional intelligence and the establishment of a concrete vision. If the employees below a transformational leader believe in the vision they represent, it can have a significant impact on their productivity and overall happiness.

No matter which type of leader you or your supervisors are, a leadership course can boost their effectiveness and help them acquire new knowledge. Not only that, but leadership development programs can have a variety of different benefits for your business.

How can strong leadership development benefit my business?

Building up the skills of your experienced leaders, or trying to flesh out the potential you see in new ones, can transform your business in many ways. Your senior executives can learn new strategies to tackle old problems, and new leaders can understand the decision-making process involved to deal with day-to-day issues.

When those in leadership roles become more confident in their skills, that confidence trickles down. Strong leaders make stronger staff, and the more your staff believes in those above them, the more productive they will be.

Not only that, but corporate training programs can help make for a happier workplace. Effective leadership means everyone can understand more clearly what needs to be done, and how to do it. Once that confusion is removed, your staff can feel a far higher level of satisfaction in their daily work.

Plus, the staff you have identified as having leadership potential will feel much more appreciated. When you engage in proper talent management and reward those who you see displaying the qualities of an effective leader, it inspires everyone to work harder. Showing there is a path to move up gives everyone a goal to shoot for.

Where should I go to get the most effective leadership training?

The most effective leadership training programs are conducted by Sigmoid Curve. We have been operating for over 15 years, training countless employees and managers on the best ways to lead in their workplaces.

Our leader, Harold Hillman, is an expert in business leadership. Hillman has worked as Chief Learning Officer for numerous prestigious organizations, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, Amoco Corporation, Prudential Financial, and Fonterra. After acquiring decades of experience, he decided it was time to start his own program.

From there, Sigmoid Curve was born. We give your top leaders the skills necessary to tap their full potential and get the most out of those who work under them. As an end result, your business flourishes. We also offer a host of other training programs, including induction coaching, executive training, diversity and inclusion training, and more.

Good leaders aren't born, they're made. Most companies won't take the time to fully develop their staff and will be less effective businesses as a result. Don't make that same mistake, instead, contact Sigmoid Curve today!

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Inbound Pursuit

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