Why You Should Add Video to Your Leadership Training Program

Why You Should Add Video to Your Leadership Training Program

When someone says the words “leadership training program,” big seminars like Dale Carnegie Leadership Training or those put on by the American Management Association pop into mind. Those can be great experiences for some; but they are a small, small slice of what’s possible with leadership training.

Today I’m going to share with you how to use self-directed learning and blended learning (with video) to bring leadership skills to more of your employees more quickly, and with a higher return.

Wait, Leadership Training Beyond the Big Seminars?

Again, there is nothing wrong with the courses put on by Dale Carnegie or the American Management Association. They have been professionally developed and time tested. But they are a little like the one contractor in town that only builds mansions: their work is great for a few people, but to build a thriving city, you need people to build homes for everyone.

Consider the format and process. A small group of executives is formally invited by HR or their manager to participate in one of these seminars. The group travels to a location and spends a couple of days in the classroom, studying a set syllabus for leadership training. They then return and are expected to implement what they have learned. How does this process leave people out?

Put these together, and the audience for your leadership training program is limited, which also limits the scope of the effectiveness.

So why not widen the audience?

Widening the Audience for Leadership Training

Think about who typically gets those invitations to leadership training. They are usually the “obvious” candidates, your HiPOs and your up-and-coming leaders. Now consider other people in your organization who might benefit from a little bit (or a lot!) of leadership training:

Once you start considering these kinds of situations, you begin seeing many, many more opportunities for honing leadership skills. To recycle my metaphor from above: You’ll see that, to build a city, you need to do so house by house. You can’t just throw up a few mansions and hope that everything will fall into place around them!

So the question now becomes one of logistics: How do you get quality leadership training into more hands? (or build more of those houses?)

Using Off-the-shelf Content for Self-Directed Leadership Training

Self-directed learning is any process or system that allows individual learners to direct their own learning, depending on their individual needs and interests. Our approach is to enable self-directed learning with a library of off-the-shelf content, organized in an easy-to-use LMS and made accessible anytime, anywhere.

Self-directed learning can allow a wider audience to pursue leadership training, and they can do so over a much longer period of time too, preparing themselves for future projects and leadership roles. Some examples:

Those are just a few examples of cases where self-directed learning would make sense for your leadership training program. In each of these cases, the employee can focus on just those leadership topics that he they need and get the required training through off-the-shelf content that you can deliver at just the right time (rather than waiting for the next seminar to come around).

Of course, you can use self-directed training for your more traditional HiPOs as well. For example, our off-the-shelf training library includes some highly relevant courses such as Becoming a Great Leader, Emotional Intelligence, Mistakes Leaders Make, Transformational Leadership, and more. I’ve found that, even for employees who have access to more traditional forms of training, having on-demand library of training videos is great for brushing up on the skills they have already learned, or even reviewing topics before hearing a presentation in a more traditional training context.

What About Blended Learning?

Learning via video does not need to be an all-or-nothing thing. A blended-learning approach that incorporates both self-directed learning via videos and instructor-led training can be the strongest approach. (For more on blended learning, I recommend our eBook, The Therapeutic Guide to Blended Learning.)

My suggestions above, that HiPOs can use a library of training videos to review topics before or after more traditional instructor-led training, is one example. Video can also be used to teach skills in the first place, allowing instructors to focus on things like practice activities, role-playing, and instructor-led conversation.

A modern LMS can add a social element to your leadership training, too; for example, you could create a leadership group in your LMS, allowing people to share content, watch videos, and discuss together. This will allow you to train a whole cohort of leaders, year-round. Talk about good succession planning!

Building that kind of bench strength does not happen overnight...that’s the point. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just as great cities take time to grow, so do great organizations with great leaders. Rome didn’t start with grand palaces, either, but with more humble homes. So be sure you are empowering ALL your employees and build those houses, together.

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