Why Leader-Led Learning Is More Fab Than Fad

In the world of leadership development, there are many trends that come and go, but leader-led learning (also known as leader-led development) isn’t just another fading fad, it’s an upward-moving trend that won’t be going away anytime soon.

According to the CEB 2014 Learning Culture Survey: learning from non-learning and development sources is up 11% since 2012. 

Leader-led learning can be defined as the transition from formal HR or external training, to training led by the department managers. Leaders take on the role of recognizing the developmental needs of their team members and help them to cultivate new skills in order to further their professional development and personal growth. Leader-led learning is a more flexible, applied approach to achieving department-specific objectives, while building trust and engagement with direct reports.

This shift elevates an organization from being a company that learns, to a company that teaches.

“Winning companies—those that consistently outperform competitors and reward shareholders—[have] moved beyond learning organizations to become teaching organizations…because teaching organizations are more agile, come up with better strategies, and are able to implement them more effectively.”  – Noel Tichy (via Harvard Business Review)

There are many benefits to taking on this new approach – for leaders, employees, and for the organization as a whole. Here are 4 reasons why shifting from strictly HR-led learning to adding leader-led learning to your organization will leave a lasting impression:

Leader-Led Learning1) Leader accountability. Leaders are held accountable for discovering and developing the professional skills of their team. They guide their sessions and take ownership of the content that’s covered, holding them more accountable for the performance results of their department.

2) Employee engagement. Leader-led learning gives employees the opportunity to work with, not under their managers. It allows them to be part of the company’s success, and a great way to build trust, keep the conversation going, and sharpen the skills of the leaders of tomorrow.

3) Boosts the company’s bottom line. Increased employee engagement results in employee retention, and the lower costs of coaching leaders to teach, versus training an entire staff, will result in financial gains for the organization.

4) Learning opportunity for leaders. Through teaching, leaders can sharpen their skills, and through engaging with their employees face-to-face on a regular basis in a learning environment, leaders will learn new skills along the way.

Learning is more impactful when the teachings come from the personal stories and real-life experiences of leaders. It builds trust between leaders and their team members, and catapults business results when implemented regularly, and effectively.

Not all leaders are natural-born teachers.  But, we believe, with the right tools people can have productive conversations that build better relationships and results in the workplace. That’s why our licensable, turnkey Lead + Live Better™ Leadership Programs come with Teacher’s Manuals. They guide leaders on how to ‘teach’ the program’s leadership skills and tackle real business challenges — all via real-time learning and face-to-face conversations. We help you to coach your leaders, so that they can effectively teach their teams. Why not start today?

Related Posts:

Why Conversation Is The Key To Keeping Your Best People

5 Ways To Create A Winning Corporate Culture (And Why It Matters)


Lisa Martin International is a boutique leadership development firm with global scope. We help organizations unlock people potential and catapult business results.  We equip companies to deliver powerful leadership development in-house with our licensable turnkey leadership solutions.

Lisa Martin, PCC

About Lisa Martin, PCC

I help high achievers – people like you – Lead + Live Better™. I support new and seasoned leaders to gain the clarity and confidence to work more effectively and have more impact. And I equip organizations with leadership development programs which cultivate amazing leaders at every level.

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