Why You Need Leadership Training and Where to Get It

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out out be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. “
– Douglas McArthur


Leadership makes a difference. Maybe its your little league team mates that rally behind the third base man because of his third grade charisma. Maybe its that college professor you had that taught lessons “outside the box” and opened your eyes to a new way of seeing. Perhaps it was that Master Sergeant that trained you and your team how to prioritize and organize your actions for mission success. Maybe leadership strikes much closer, in the home, as you model the kind of integrity and behavior a grown man or woman should have for your children. No matter where you look, leadership makes a difference.

Leadership makes a difference. Not everyone can be a successful leader, at least not in every instance. One thing that all five branches of the military teach is that effective leadership can be trained. For more than two hundred years the military of the United States has been developing, honing, and deploying methods of leadership that have resulted in the finest military the world has known to date. Those who leave military service with strong leadership training go on to adapt their leadership skills to civilian life. Companies who hire these veterans with strong leadership skills benefit greatly from having them in their organization, but that is another article.


Like all successful companies and organizations you are looking for strong leadership in your company and that comes from quality leadership training.

Companies and organizations regularly seek out leadership training for:

  • Senior management
  • Mid or lower management
  • Corporate executives
  • Departments or teams
  • Team leaders

What is effective leadership training?

Leader development refers to enhancing leadership effectiveness, both at the individual and organization as a whole. Leadership development activities range from MBA style programs offered at university business schools to action learning, high-ropes courses and executive retreats.

Traditionally, leadership development has focused on developing the leadership abilities and attitudes of individuals. Just as people are not all born with the ability or desire to play sports, not all people are natural born leaders. Different personal traits and characteristics can help or hinder a person’s leadership effectiveness and require formalized programs for developing leadership competencies. Everyone can develop his or her leadership effectiveness which takes focus, practice and persistence more akin to learning a musical instrument than reading a book.

Classroom-style training and associated reading is effective in helping leaders to know more about what is involved in leading well. However, knowing what to do and doing what you know are two very different outcomes. It is estimated that as little as 15% of learning from traditional classroom style training results in sustained behavioral change within the workplace.

Why is it important to you?

Simply put, leadership training gives you

  • Substantive measurable results
  • Boosts performance
  • Higher quality mission execution
  • Boosted morale and motivation
  • Implementation of proven best practices for leadership
  • Quality training from highly experienced trainers

If your leadership training program does not boost performance, execution and motivation then you have the wrong form of leadership training in place. Quality leadership training will boost performance, quality of execution and motivation. Military influenced leadership training can employ best practices that have been developed over a very long period of time by the military. Quality military leadership trainers bring experience in “connecting” the information to the trainee in a way that insures a greater return on investment through a higher and more consistent grade of leaders.


Where can you find leadership training that gets results?

We grow leaders like no other! With over 110 years of military leader development experience behind us, let Forward March Inc., help you achieve your leader development goals. We offer varied types of training courses tailored around your needs, ranging from one-on-one professional coaching, to on-site group training, that bring a “boot-camp” style of training with a fun flair. It’s not just training, it’s a commitment to organizational excellence!

Check out some of our past articles on Leadership 

“Why Invest in Leadership Development” https://forwardmarchnews.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/why-invest-in-leadership-development/

Check out our article “Strong Leadership for Mission Success” https://forwardmarchnews.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/strong-leadership-for-mission-success/

Don’t just take our word for it, spend some time reading about military style leadership development through some of these interesting articles and posts:

Business Insider recently posted some insights on military leadership that listed attributes such as authority and consistency as well as compassion. You can read that article here… 

Entrepreneur Magazine posted an article 10 Lessons from America’s Greatest Military Leaders. 

Fast Company posted a nice article “7 Tough Leadership Lessons from a Navy Seal Commander – Taking Tactics from the War Room to the Boardroom ” Read it here…

Forbes Magazine “Six Creative Leadership Lessons from the Military In an Era of VUCA and COIN” Read it here…

Why Invest in Leadership Development?

LeadershipWhy Invest in Leadership Development?

Perhaps my most enjoyable assignment in my 24 year Army career was a Senior Personnel and Leader Developer. I had the privilege of traveling the country briefing Soldiers on personal and professional development issues. I sat down with senior Army leaders to discuss and establish organizational development goals covering key points such as professional military education, civilian education, and Soldier development programs.

What I enjoyed the most was the one-on-one interaction with troops during breaks or at the end of the day where they could openly ask questions they did not want to ask during my seminar. Whether I was briefing on the east coast, west coast, or the mid-west, one thing was very clear, individuals were hungry for leader development. The unfortunate fact is, however, that most people do not get it at the level at which they truly need it.


Leader development is a deliberate, continuous, sequential, and progressive process, steeped in organizational values. It grows employee into competent and confident leaders capable of decisive action. Leader development is achieved through life-long blend of the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained through training and education opportunities the three pillars of leader development which are institutional training, operational experience, and self-development

Institutional Training is the formal education an employee receives through institutions of higher learning and formal organizational training programs. The purpose of institutional training is to provide a framework or basic principles behind the things we do.

Operational experience is simply learning by doing or leadership in action. It means taking lessons learned and turn them into new and effective ways of doing business. Operational experience also includes seeking mentorships from others in the industry.

Self-Development focuses on maximizing personal strengths, over-coming weaknesses, and achieving individual development goals. This can be as simple as reading a book on how to close a sale or studying a technical manual.

FMI Brochure

So why is leader development so important? Just as people are not all born with the ability or desire to play sports, not all people are natural born leaders. Different personality traits and characteristics can help or hinder a one’s leadership effectiveness. It requires formalized training, experience, and guidance to develop and shape effective leader competencies.

Perhaps former Chief of Staff of the Army, General Edward C. Meyer said it best, “Just as the diamond requires three properties for its formation—carbon, heat, and pressure—successful leaders require the interaction of three properties—character, knowledge, and application. Like carbon to the diamond, character is the basic quality of the leader.… But as carbon alone does not create a diamond, neither can character alone create a leader. The diamond needs heat. Man needs knowledge, study and preparation.… The third property, pressure—acting in conjunction with carbon and heat—forms the diamond. Similarly, one’s character attended by knowledge, blooms through application to produce a leader.” The bottom line is this; leader development is a process or constant learning and development.

Here are some key points for an effective leader development program:

Commitment. Leader development training its more than a once or twice a year event. It’s a long-term investment for the future that requires a high level of time and dedication. Commitment, however, goes both ways here. An organization must pledge the time develop its employees, and employees must buy into and commit to their own self-development.

Formal and Funded. Part of an organizations commitment to leader development is developing, planning, and executing formal training. This can be done internally or using an outside organization to train. Either way, a certain level of capital must be set aside to ensure the training happens.

Mentorship. A huge piece of the operational experience pillar is mentorship. Mentorship starts at on-boarding and continues throughout an individual’s career regardless of their level within the organization. Mentorship can come from within the company or even from mentors externally within the same industry. Either way, good leaders learn from the successes and failures of themselves and others.

Leader Rotation. I have seen it time and again where leaders are afraid to put too much time in developing their employee. The fear is that the better job they do in developing young leaders, the more likely they are to become irrelevant to the organization and replaced. First, if this is your thought process, you might need to move on anyway. Second, you owe it to your future leaders to show them how to lead within the organization. What better way to learn how a company operates than rotate within each department. This in leadership in action!

Best Practices. Great organizations are always looking for ways to improve processes and practices. It takes engaged leaders on the ground to track what is working, not working or could be done better. The same applies to current management processes. These best practices need to be shared with leaders at all levels in the organization and applied towards the company’s success.


With over 110 years of military leader development experience behind us, let Forward March Inc., help you achieve your leader development goals. We offer varied types of training courses tailored around your needs, ranging from one-on-one professional coaching, to on-site group training, that bring a “boot-camp” style of training with a fun flair. It’s not just training, it’s a commitment to organizational excellence!

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services