Leadership is the foundation of your business. Without it, you’ve got nothing — no strategy, no culture, no success. It’s no wonder that your choice of leadership training provider is one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. And, like any business partnership, it’s important that you regularly evaluate your relationship to be sure you’re getting results and value. If you’re not getting as much out of the relationship as you’d like, it may be time to consider a switch.
So, how do you know when it’s time to cut ties? Changing leadership training providers can be challenging and isn’t something to take lightly. Not only must you sever the relationship with your current vendor (which can be awkward), but you must also spend valuable time researching replacements, forming new relationships and onboarding your new provider.
The truth is, businesses change leadership training providers for the same reasons they change any other service provider. It comes down to customer service, quality of product and overall value. Keep reading for four sure signs it’s time to consider a new leadership training provider.
1. You feel like you’re being “sold to.”
Ultimately, we’re all trying to sell something to someone. But any salesperson worth their salt will tell you that relationship-building comes first, and sales come next. Your relationship with your leadership training provider should not feel transactional.
To recommend the right leadership training products for your organization and your goals, your leadership training provider must dig deep into your company culture. Examine how you and your leadership training provider communicate and how often. Is the communication product-based more often than not?
2. Your provider is nowhere to be found after the sale.
If you wanted to purchase a leadership product and go it alone, you could have easily bought a book from Amazon. You chose your leadership training provider because you wanted not only their expertise, but also their personal, one-on-one attention and guidance. Are you getting that? If your leadership training provider thinks their job is done after they’ve closed the sale, it’s time to move on. You should feel like your leadership training provider is invested in your business and personal goals and growth.
3. The leadership product isn’t working.
It should be easy to tell if a product you’ve purchased is working, right? Not so fast. The return on investment of leadership training is notoriously difficult to measure. In fact, you can’t measure it directly. Instead, you must measure it indirectly, by tracking things like reduced turnover, higher employee engagement, increased productivity, lower costs and more. You can also survey your staff who is involved in leadership training to get their perspective on its value. If you’re not seeing positive results in your business (as defined by you), your current leadership training provider might not be a good match.
4. Nothing has changed.
This problem is a bit trickier because it’s difficult to spot. You may have a very comfortable relationship with your leadership training provider. You may even have noticed improvements in your business. However, if your provider is offering the same service or program year after year, using the same techniques and approaches, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship.
Tried-and-true ideas have their place. In fact, some leadership models have delivered decades of positive results. But that doesn’t give your leadership training provider permission to be stuck in the past. What is your provider doing to stay current? Do they attend industry conferences? Do they invest in continuing education for their staff? It’s the new ideas that will propel your business forward.
- What criteria are you using to evaluate your leadership training provider? If you don’t have a list, create one and share it with everyone involved in your company’s leadership training.
- Commit to having a semiannual “review” with your leadership training provider to go over what’s working, what’s not and your upcoming goals/needs.