Tag Archives: leadership

The Top 12 Leadership Training Mistakes

Good morning everyone- I’m back after a few days of being ill. Rather inconvenient actually, but in the spirit of moving onwards and upwards with the week I attended a short seminar in the city this morning which was about “The Top 12 Leadership Training Mistakes”.

Hosted by James Adonis of ‘Team Leaders’, the seminar went for about an hour at Circular Quay and James mentioned a lot of good points about why leadership training often fails us. Some of the reasons include the course being too basic (we’ve all been to courses before that tell us how to suck eggs), the facilitator might not be experienced enough to manage the audience appropriately, it’s boring (i.e. delivered in a way that is not engaging or focuses on ploughing through the content not the learner experience) and the leadership training may not cater to each individual learning style.

James also mentioned one of the biggest mistakes which I think is true of most formal learning/training programs- “no reinforcement”. If we send people along to a training program and then just expect that they’ll behave differently when they get back, we are setting ourselves up to fail.

We can't just plant the leadership seeds, and expect them to grow on their own!

We can't just plant the leadership seeds, and expect them to grow on their own!

We can’t just send our terrible people leaders on leadership courses and expect them to have some giant Oprah ‘ah ha’ moment and return the manager of the year. The leader will need reinforcement of the correct behaviours and feedback when they aren’t meeting the expectations. It may help for the individual to set goals at the end of the training for ways in which they are going to change and review these regularly with a manager. They might also need ongoing coaching or mentoring and regular, specific feedback in the moment is imperative.

As a HR professional, do you actively follow-up with clients after they’ve attended a training program to evaluate its effectiveness and ensure that the learning has been transferred to the workplace?

**Check out the Team Leaders website and download the free stuff**


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How important is culture?

According to Human Synergistics “Culture is the way that things are actually done in an organisation.” It includes shared values and beliefs, ways of thinking and norms or expectations of behaviours in the workplace.

Many of our business leaders would be thinking; that’s great (sounds like a bit of HR fluff) but what we really want is results.

Culture is vital to organisational success because it is the principal driver of performance related behaviours throughout the organisation. By creating a constructive culture, organisations can achieve and sustain high performance.

So how does culture come about?

Organisational cultures can be changed, and they can evolve over time. However the major driving force behind culture is actually leadership.

“Leaders set the agenda for the environment in which others operate, and people behave in a way that reflects the impact of their leader. Organisational culture is transformed through managing organisational structures, systems, technologies and the skills and qualities of leaders.”


So if leadership is going to drive the culture we want, which will then elicit the desired performance from our people- what are you doing to engage your leaders?

**Human Synergistics is hosting the 11th Australian Conference on Culture and Leadership in 2009. Visit the website for further information**

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Are you fulfilling the role of the credible activist?

Just recently, in attending the AHRI National Convention I heard about the AHRI National Awards. I was thinking about entering these, and came across the criteria for the HR Leadership awards. These awards recognize leading HR practitioners whose contribution to the achievement of the business outcomes through HR practices is worthy of recognition.

If you are considering nominating yourself or someone else you’ll need to apply today as it’s the last day, but even if you aren’t you might want to evaluate yourself and see how you rate as a HR practitioner. You might even want to use this as a bit of a checklist or goal for the year ahead instead of how you want to be seen by your business.

woman with megaphone


1. Achievement: The applicant has been recognised for excellence in an academic or career capacity

2. Impact: The applicant has made a tangible contribution to the organisation

3. Progression: The applicant’s career demonstrates an upwards trajectory beyond the expected

4. Leadership: The applicant has demonstrated a capacity for leadership

5. Commitment: The applicant has demonstrated a passion for HR through service to the profession

6. Innovation: the applicant is ahead of the field in ideas and/or practices

7. Credible activism: the applicant demonstrates personal credibility but also a point of view about the business

8. Strategic architect: the applicant demonstrates an understanding of strategy and how HR will deliver strategy.

A few of these are pretty self explanatory but a few I found to be terms that I don’t think you hear a lot of- but hopefully it will be something we HR professionals refer to a lot more in the future. With regards to leadership, I guess it depends on how you define it.

Personally, I interpret it according to Zimmerman’s (2001) definition which is that leaders must play the role of a visionary, a collaborator, a salesperson and a negotiator. I’m sure reading this; you will agree that we play all these roles at some point as a HR professional.

The one that really sticks out for me is the ‘credible activism’ which comes from David Ulrich. It’s about being trusted, respected, admired and listened to, and most importantly holding a firm standpoint about the business.

Ulrich said in a press release, “HR professionals who are credible, but not activists, are admired but do not have much impact. Those who are activists but not credible may have ideas but will not be listened to,” he added.

It really made me think about my role here and will challenge me for the next year to make a serious impact upon the business. What are your goals for the next six months?

Read more from the Society of Human Resource Management on this, or click here to read an interview with David Ulrich.

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Filed under AHRI National Convention, Uncategorized