Leader Development


ASTD estimates that in 2012, organizations spent approximately $164.2 billion on training. Of this total direct learning expenditure, 61 percent ($100.2 billion) was spent internally. The remainder was spent on external services, which accounted for 28 percent ($46 billion); and tuition reimbursement, which accounted for 11 percent ($18 billion).  Also, U.S. companies invested about $156 billion in learning and development in 2011 and $171.5 billion in 2010. This gives roughly and average of almost $164 billion dollars over the past three years.

Not to be confused on the whole, but leadership development and leader development are not the same thing, nor are they one in the same. Leadership development refers to the activities that enhances the effectiveness and quality of leadership within an organization collectively, while leader development is more individual; but yet is moving forward to benefit the entire collective. In the actual field of practice, leadership development is really seen by those organizations that do practice it as a key strategic priority. In effect, the practice and process to these organizations is a missional issue that essentially pushes human resources and human capital through the strategic missional realm of leader development. Problem is, more often than not, leadership development and leader development becomes a budget casualty and/or a line-item issue instead of a strategic resource to push an organization’s mission and vision.

However, is Leader Development important enough to the future of your church or organization?

 As Mike Myatt presents in Forbes:

“Here’s the thing – when it comes to leadership, the training industry has been broken for years. You don’t train leaders you develop them – a subtle yet important distinction lost on many. Leadership training is alive and well, but it should have died long, long ago… The solution to the leadership training problem is to scrap it in favor of development. Don’t train leaders, coach them, mentor them, disciple them, and develop them, but please don’t attempt to train them…  If what you desire is a robotic, static thinker – train them. If you’re seeking innovative, critical thinkers – develop them. I have always said it is impossible to have an enterprise which is growing and evolving if leadership is not.”

Traditionally, leadership development has focused on developing the leadership abilities and attitudes of individuals. People have desires and abilities that can ultimately become powerful if developed and harnessed to be/become effective in fulfilling their role in pushing the organizational mission and vision forward. Achieving such development takes focus, practice and persistence.

Also, organizations can also be developed to a higher performance by strengthening the connection between, and alignment of, the efforts of individual leaders and the systems through which they influence organizational operations.  Moving forward in leader development is to put in place the necessary processes and developments to propel the “expansion of a person’s capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes…” Leader development therefore results by investing in human capital by developing individual-based knowledge, skills, and abilities. In essence, genuine development is a form of change and it is impossible for a leader to develop without change occurring. In this, leaders should be developed at every level to be catalysts and change leaders.