The Failure of Leadership and Management Training and how to Avoid It Let’s face it most management and leadership training efforts are dismal failures. The money and resources devoted to them is usually wasted and the knowledge and skills learned are often superficial and pointless. The reason that this occurs is that people do not understand what leadership training and management training are and how they should work. In many cases this failure begins with a lack of clear goals and quantifiable plans. Instead of real plans the company has a series of vague goals for training that have no bearing on reality. Before you organize a training effort you need to set down and set a series of goals for it. The SMART goals methodology is often a good place to start. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic (or Relevant) and Timely. They come with a schedule and a means of measuring them. A SMART training program would have a series of goals that everybody understands and knows about. More importantly it will come with a built in methodology for quantifying the training program and its successes. One way to do this will be to test the employees’ knowledge of the management program and its goals. Another would be to measure the number of people who actually become managers after attending the program. Measuring such things as employee engagement, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction can show managers is there have actually been improvements in the organization or not. Making training programs SMART can lead to improvements throughout all aspects of an organization and help it actually create the leaders and managers that it actually needs.