selecting a leadership praining provider

How to Evaluate and Choose the Best Leadership Development Provider for Your Team

If your organisation is considering investing in a leadership development, you’ll quickly discover the myriad of providers in the market. In this article we help you understand the options and discover how to choose the best leadership development provider for your organisation.

To be successful in a highly competitive business setting, leadership development is absolutely necessary. Strong leaders inspire teams, drive innovation, and create a thriving workplace culture. 

However, building effective leadership requires the right approach. That’s where leadership development providers offer valuable support. Choosing the best one for your organisation can be overwhelming, which is why thorough research before making any decision is key.

This article will provide you with a step-by-step process to maximise your chances of success and ensure the best possible return on your investment.

How to select a training provider

Choosing the Right Leadership Training Provider: A Critical Decision

Your board has just given you the assignment to carry out a leadership development initiative.  The pressure is on – spending a significant amount of money without tangible results, or worse, frustrating your best employees with an ineffective programme, are real risks.

Ask the right questions before everything else: Why should you invest in leadership?

Before diving into providers, take a step back. Why does the Board feel the company should invest in leadership development? Understanding their goals will serve as a compass for all your decisions.

Get specific: Has the Board identified declining employee morale? Are performance metrics lagging? Perhaps they’re anticipating major changes and want leaders prepared to handle the transition. The more precise their concerns are, the better you can tailor a solution.

Ask about targets. Does the Board have quantifiable objectives in mind? They might be aiming for a specific increase in productivity, a reduction in turnover, or an improvement in customer satisfaction scores.

Consider the big picture: How does leadership development align with the company’s overall strategic vision? Do they see a need to foster greater innovation or streamline communication for an expanding workforce? Understanding their long-term goals will help you choose a programme that contributes to that wider success.

Keeping evaluation in mind is the first step: Leadership development can be a powerful tool, but only if it is done thoughtfully. Define what you’re trying to achieve and how you’ll measure success upfront. The wrong programme for your specific needs is a waste of resources. Using the wrong tool for the wrong task won’t deliver the results you aspire to. Being tactful about it and educating yourself will do the trick  before you make any crucial decisions. 

Importance of Leadership Development

Investing in leadership development is a crucial strategic decision that yields tangible benefits. 

Here’s why investing in leadership development is significant: It attracts and retains top employees by signalling a commitment to their growth, making your company more desirable and reducing churn. Leaders are vital to building a strong corporate culture. 

People who promote communication, collaboration, and respect in the workplace are the ones who create a positive and engaged environment. 

Leadership development programmes directly improve essential skills such as decision-making, conflict resolution, and critical thinking, which ultimately leads to improved performance on both the individual and team levels. Empowered leaders encourage innovation and creativity, keeping the company ahead of the curve. 

Leadership development, as a final point, helps to strengthen succession planning by ensuring that there is a pipeline of internal candidates who are ready to step up. By doing so, disruptions are reduced, and momentum is preserved, even when senior roles become available.

When it comes to the expansion and success of a company, and the cultivation of a culture that is sustainable within the organisation, it is absolutely necessary to make investments in leadership development. By equipping employees with the necessary resources and skills to excel as leaders, businesses can enjoy an array of advantages that ultimately enhance their financial performance.

Delegates attending a development programme

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Leadership Development Provider

Choosing the right leadership development provider is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s like choosing the right tools for a complex project. The right tools will empower your team to achieve outstanding results, while the wrong ones will lead to wasted time, unfulfilled expectations, and potentially even damage to the project itself. 

In the same way, the right provider will unlock your team’s potential, but the wrong one could  hinder growth and demotivate even your best people. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Expertise and credentials: Don’t let slick marketing influence you alone. Look for vendors who demonstrate leadership development expertise with recognised accreditation, certification, or relevant experience. This ensures they’re offering proven techniques, not just the latest buzzwords.
  • Customisation: Your team has unique needs and challenges. Avoid generic, one-size-fits-all programmes. Seek a leadership provider who tailors their approach to address your specific goals and pain points.
  • Range of services: Leadership development goes beyond workshops. Consider whether your team would benefit from additional personalised coaching, team-building exercises, or other specialised support. Some providers offer a wider range of solutions for a more comprehensive approach.
  • Track record: Do your homework. Look for reviews from past clients and contact organisations that have utilised the provider’s services. Their experiences can offer valuable insights into programme effectiveness.
  • Alignment with your goals: A provider whose values and approach clash with your company culture will create friction, not results. Ensure their philosophy and methods align with your overall vision for your leaders.
  • Cost: While budget is important, remember that quality leadership development is an investment. Get quotes from multiple providers, weighing their offerings against the cost. A higher price tag might be justified if it offers a greater potential for return.

Conducting thorough research on leadership development providers is required before making a decision. Imagine it as planning a major project – the more comprehensive your research and analysis upfront, the higher the likelihood of achieving the desired outcome. Through an extensive examination of the relevant factors, you can make a well-informed decision that effectively supports your team’s path to success.

Understanding Your Options

Once you’ve clarified your company’s specific needs, you’ll find a range of leadership development providers to consider. Each offers distinct advantages and potential drawbacks.

Leadership development lecturer

Here’s a breakdown of the most common choices:

Major Consultancies

Pros: When dealing with hesitant stakeholders, well-known and established names might be persuasive. Their use in board reports and public relations can facilitate the demonstration of commitment to well-known partners. To accommodate any additional requirements that may arise during the course of the plan, they frequently provide associated services that could benefit your broader organisation.

Cons: This is often the most expensive choice and their solutions tend to be less specialised. They are generalist and serve a wider range of clients as opposed to experts who have knowledge that is specifically devoted to leadership development.

Business Schools

Pros: One of the potential draws for attending employees is the opportunity to gain access to cutting-edge academic research and prestigious networks. Obtaining a certification from a reputable organisation has the potential to increase employee retention.

Cons: The cost of programmes can be quite high. Participants may have difficulty putting their learning into practice upon their return to work if the training is primarily theoretical and does not include additional practical coaching.

Specialist Leadership Development Providers

Pros: Specialist providers often boast unique leadership methodologies, offering excellent value and the ability to tailor solutions to specific outcomes, like improving retention. In many cases, this middle ground offers excellent value for the money. There is a tendency for them to isolate the administration from the delivery teams, which may make it simpler to provide feedback or request alterations.

Cons: Smaller outfits may have capacity limits for large-scale training needs. Programmes might require more intensive scheduling and travel on your employees’ part. Availability could be an issue if you rely on a specific provider, as their offerings may be unique.

Individual Consultants

Pros: Generally speaking, individual consultants are the most competitively priced option.

Cons: Carry higher risk due to potential continuity issues and the challenge of finding a replacement if their style or expertise isn’t a good fit for your team.

Additional Considerations

Company culture: Make sure the provider’s personality and approach are compatible with your organisation’s core values. A mismatch will create friction rather than results.

Testimonials and case studies: Inquire with service providers about references and success stories to evaluate their effectiveness in situations that are comparable to your individual circumstances. 


In the end, suppliers of leadership development are horses for courses in that they offer an assortment of opportunities to meet a variety of needs. Define your requirements, and then choose the provider who will be able to meet them with the greatest efficiency.

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