Leadership Training Programs Are A Waste of Time

Royalty, feudalism, dictatorships and democracy have all had their shot at defining and selling leadership. Each group claims that their way is best. At the top of each socio political pile is a small cadre of privileged and well paid people who pump out orders, threats, offers or seminars. They keep telling us “you can do it too”. They keep seducing us to sacrifice more money and intelligence. They essentially think the world needs more people like them. Then things would go well for everyone else.

I’m calling B.S.

We don’t need more leaders, especially more of the kinds of leaders who have shaped history thus far. For them leaders = power grubbers. They want us to lend them our power and trust them to use it properly. They have handed us a dangerous and divided world. They are politicians, entertainers, religionists, academics, scientists, economists – you name it, scratch a bit below the surface and for the most part you’ll find self serving leaders. Why should I listen to them? Is this the best we can do?

I’m calling B.S.

Leadership is a verb, a set of practices and behaviors. It’s not a person or a program.

Leadership inspires people to lean into their better angels

Leadership embraces power and gives it away. It shares power with others.

Leadership is what we need more of.

Leadership looks like more listening, more initiative and more adaptability.


Leaders are fine as long as they don’t get in the way of progress.

Leaders can help us by starting things and then getting out of the way.

Give me a leadership revolution

4 thoughts on “Leadership Training Programs Are A Waste of Time

  1. I’m hearing an echo of something Jesus said in Matt. 23:10-12. But you knew that. 🙂

    I think what is most interesting in your essay is the part about the “leaders” always saying, “You can do it too.” Just like James’ warning about folks who say to the poor, “Be warmed and fed.” This seems so endemic to Christianity… and of course it always precedes the ask. It’s the reason that essentially every Christian group I have ever met blames victims for their misfortunes and blames the poor for their poverty.

    That kind of “gospel” is always bad news, in my experience.

    Jesus died for the ones who can’t get there on their own … and they’ll become the kinds of leaders we’ll need in the future… people who know how to say, “I failed. I don’t deserve ___.” “I never did get that right.”
    “The only good thing I’ve done is help someone grow in patience.”

    Thankfully, the meek really will inherit the Earth.

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