Getting the Most Bang for Your Training Buck – 12 Steps to Make Leadership Training Effective

Mest bang for the utbildningsbuck – 12 steg för att få effekt av ledarskapsutbildning

All Doers

Mest bang for the utbildningsbuck – 12 steg för att få effekt av ledarskapsutbildning

All Doers

Welcome to our corner of the internet, where we don’t just talk about leadership – we live it. And we’re eager to share our experiences. Here, we’ll delve into the art of creating an effective leadership training that not only inspires but also delivers results.

In a world that’s constantly changing and where the demands on leaders are ever increasing, effective leadership training is crucial for developing leaders. Leadership training equips leaders to navigate and guide themselves and others through complex challenges. Sending leaders to brisk leadership courses has always been both appreciated and invigorating. But perhaps it’s never been more important than now for them to actually yield results. So how do we ensure that the training makes a difference in how we actually lead?

Here are our 12 best research-based tips for maximizing the impact of your leadership training and cultivating leaders who both want to, can, and dare to lead in the best possible way.

Doings model

Before Leadership Training (Make it Happen) 

1. Needs Analysis and Goal Formulation

Before we can start building a leadership training, we need to conduct a needs analysis related to the world and industry you operate in, as well as the strategic goals and needs of the organization. If you’ve done your strategic competency homework, you have analyzed the specific skills and knowledge that need to be developed. What do the new work methods, technologies, demands from employees, legal requirements, and other demands on your leaders mean?

Based on this, clear goals are set for what the training should achieve and how. So before you start piling up content, learning journeys, and modules, ask yourselves: Why are we doing this and for whom? Formulate your goals and create an image of the ideal participant. This should be the compass throughout the process of creating your leadership training.

2. Anchor Leadership Training with the Organization’s Vision and Goals

For leadership training to provide the most value and impact, it should be linked to your overall vision and goals. This helps participants see the purpose of their learning journey. Always ensure that the content and learning journey also reflect your culture and values, increasing relevance and acceptance. Moreover, it provides invaluable value in the form of your leaders also becoming natural culture builders – win-win-win

3. Preparation and Engagement

Create curiosity and engagement among participants even before the leadership training begins. Do it in a way that suits your organization, but feel free to try a new way to create curiosity and anticipation. The anticipation applies to both sides; also communicate early and clearly what is expected of participants both during and after training, including how important their role as leaders is for you as an organization.

4. Anchoring and Follow-Up with the Boss’s Boss

Another important point to really strengthen momentum and motivation early on is to involve the boss’s boss in various ways. They need to be informed about both content and practical setup to be able to support, follow up curiously, understand, and provide feedback on the continued development journey. We usually ensure this through both an individual action plan. The participant is tasked with developing and following up the plan continuously with their boss. And also by either ensuring that top management attends the training before everyone else. Alternatively (if it’s a more basic course that not everyone attends), ensure they receive a brief overview of the content and theory. All to be able to support and follow up in the best way during the journey.


During Leadership Training (Make the Change)

5. Adapt Leadership Training to Individual Learning Styles

Each participant has their own way of learning. We create learning journeys where we combine digital education (which happens when it suits the individual, spread over time and where the focus is on theory and reflection) with physical or possibly virtual workshops. In the physical moments, the focus of the content is on training, relationship-building, and truly reinforcing learning. Remember that regardless of format and location, a mix of methods and approaches is needed for the leadership training to be effective and valuable for everyone’s different needs and circumstances. Try to tailor the content and exercises of the learning journey to the needs and dynamics of each group.

6. Practice and Share Experiences During Leadership Training

Everyone loves theory, but it’s in reality that it comes to life. Make sure to always link theory to real examples and situations in the leaders’ everyday lives. That’s where the magic happens and where participants will see the value. Let participants engage in a real way and invite them to discussions, role-plays, and case studies, and actively practice together. By allowing participants to practice, discuss, and reflect together, stronger bonds are built between them. This is also important to give participants the opportunity to learn, be inspired, and challenged by each other. These bonds are also invaluable when everyday life intrudes, and a strong network of supportive peers is extra important.

7. Application in Reality

As is well known, it’s the doing that is the key to lasting learning. Your training is not an art installation. Be practical and concrete. Focus on tools and techniques that your leaders can use directly at work. The more usability, the more success. Encourage learning by doing in daily work in various ways during training. This can, for example, be by being tasked with testing a new skill directly in the next meeting or employee conversation. Or by observing and reflecting on how you as a business handle challenging ideas and discussing this with your learning buddy.

8. Reflection for Increased Learning

Reflection is the key to personal and professional development. Reflecting is not just a pause to look back, but a powerful process that gives leaders the opportunity to understand more and grow in their role. Reflection strengthens our learning and increases our self-awareness. In evaluations of our leadership programs, reflection always stands out as a strong motivator for participants. By regularly reflecting, leaders are given the opportunity to gain insights, identify patterns, and strengthen their ability to make informed and wise decisions. And when leaders also have the opportunity to share and take part in others’ reflections, collective competence is strengthened and learning is further deepened.

9. Set a Plan and Follow Up

No one wants to go from a fantastic leadership training to standing still. Conclude each session with concrete actions and a personal action plan. Let your leaders leave the training ready to act. Encourage continuous feedback during the training. This helps participants see both progress and areas for improvement. Examples of good ways to do this include pairing participants with a learning buddy. And always follow up on the individual development plan together with the nearest supervisor.


After Leadership Training (Make it Last)

10. Follow-up and Support after Leadership Training

An important part that unfortunately is often forgotten or deprioritized is various forms of follow-up even after the completion of the training. Ideally, plan different types of advanced training or follow-up workshops already in the initial stages. This could involve group coaching sessions, for instance, with deeper dives and the opportunity for coaching (either externally or with the leader’s supervisor) to support the ongoing development and application of new skills.

11. Evaluate, Iterate, and Inspire

Nothing is static, and this applies to your leadership training as well. Be prepared to adjust and adapt based on feedback and changes in the business climate. This is how you keep your training relevant and impactful. Work iteratively with planning and designing the training (even during the process). Conduct regular evaluations and measurements to ensure that the training delivers the desired effect and to identify areas for improvement. It’s not just about filling seats. Measure success by tracking how your leaders apply what they’ve learned. Results speak louder than attendance, so keep an eye on how your training affects daily work.

12. Promote a Culture of Learning

Don’t forget to view leadership development as part of your long-term strategy rather than a one-time event that’s “done” afterward. Continuous development is crucial for attracting and retaining talent. And to ensure that you remain a relevant employer and organization, both today and tomorrow! Show that you are an organization that values continuous learning – encourage a culture of ongoing personal development. You do this by ensuring that you have the structural and organizational conditions necessary for development and promoting the sharing of knowledge and experiences, both internally and externally.

Also, remember to share and celebrate success stories. By continually highlighting and inspiring the rest of the organization about progress and practical effects, both internal engagement and the desire to develop are strengthened.


Investing in leadership training is, as we know, an investment in both the individual’s and the organization’s future. By following these tips, you can be confident that your leadership training will not only be a temporary, delightful sparkler… but a powerful catalyst for long-term change and success.

Good luck 😊

Here you can be inspired by a learning journey and a leadership training that really had an effect – Alleima’s global leadership development program.

All Doers

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