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The imperative for leadership – real leadership – has never been louder or clearer in the span of our working lifetime. There have been discrete crises that have called for leadership bursts. But never have we seen the chronically draining and anxiety-inducing slog through which we’re all continuing to wade.

People are losing steam! And it takes leadership to reignite the passion, commitment, and clarity to move them forward.

But here’s the thing. Companies see this moment. And they accept the challenge. Organizations are leaning into Leadership Development. However. Many are continuing to rely on the educator-student model. And, welp. It’s not working.

Companies are buying or designing programs that deliver just the right tools, processes, scripts, and frameworks. And then wondering why the leadership needle isn’t much moving.

And I ask you this. How often do you find yourself not coaching someone because you don’t have the right framework in front of you? Or asked differently, to what extent does a coaching framework feel useful – applicable – in the context of a real-life moment?

Tools matter. But tools can’t help leaders overcome the obstacles that hold them back.

Leaders I talk to in my practice are consistent in telling me it’s the lack of time, confidence, practice, willingness, support, and more.

Leadership Development – especially in the Covid era – shouldn’t be about adding, but subtracting.

The question organizations should be asking is what obstacles can we move out of the way to create the space, confidence and capability for our leaders to lead?

Leadership Development today should be about identifying and solving problems (like too many priorities). It should be about creating peer learning circles for practice and feedback. It should be connecting mentors and mentees, providing safe forums for “dumb” questions, and finding ways to share best practices.

If your leaders aren’t showing up as you need them to. Please. Don’t don’t try to “tool” the problem away.

Facilitate meaningful dialog.

And if you need help. Reach out. We’ve got this.