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Designing IT Leadership Development Training for Success

by Gary Bamberger on October 21, 2013

A few months back when I was first formulating my IT Leadership Development Training, I read an article entitled “CIOs Say Mentoring Works, Classes Don’t” in CIO magazine. The article provided an overview of the results from a survey of 200 CIOs on effective methods of developing IT leaders in their organizations. The survey showed that the CIOs rated MBA-esque classes and “boot camps” as the least effective of the 10 options listed. The top rated technique was mentoring or coaching.

My personal experience with leadership development mirrors some of the findings of this article. Having been through a few leadership development training boot camps, I repeatedly found myself on an emotional high at the end of the session. My emotional high was created from experiencing several epiphanies and personal breakthroughs during the training that would expand my comfort zone. And, I would make commitments and action plans during the training.

The challenge that I had after the training was with what one of my instructors called “homeostasis.” By this, I am referring to my comfort zone beginning to shrink back towards its original size after the training. For me, maintaining my personal breakthroughs and moving forward with my commitments was a challenge. And this is part of the reason that the CIO survey cites training is less effective. Let’s face it; the “people” part of leadership is hard work for managers!

When I was designing my own IT Leadership Development Training, I thought about different ways to address this issue. What I came up with were the following the techniques:

Bean & Checklist

  • Each participants writes reports over the course of my training course to capture their epiphanies, personal breakthroughs and action plans. The reports are returned to the organization after training is completed to serve as a tool to increase accountability and support of participants. I consider these reports to be a topographical map that shows the journey a participant.
  • Beans Climbing MtnWe establish “Accountability Partners” during the training. The overall objective is for participants to support each other and hold each other accountable after the training is complete. After all, holding people accountable is one key role of leaders. The Accountability Partners share their epiphanies, breakthroughs and commitments during the training.

Beans High 5

  • I also offer an option to include individual coaching to participants to support them in focusing on their epiphanies, maintaining their breakthroughs and advancing on their commitments.

If you’re interested in customized experiential leadership development training specifically geared towards people in IT, please contact us at We would welcome an opportunity to discuss your specific IT leadership development training needs!


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My 2012 Experiment with Goals

January 25, 2013

I was profoundly impacted by a blog by Leo Babaua about living without goals that I read in 2011 at some point.  I thought it was a remarkably freeing concept and one that allows people to live more fully in the moment.  I saw the possibilities of allowing Life to unfold in it’s own pace […]


Personal Leadership Characteristics – Integrity

April 19, 2011

On my last blog, I provided my definition of personal leadership.  Here’s a snippet of my view on personal leadership: Personal leadership is about: Taking a leadership role in your own life. Having a clear picture of what you want to achieve and what success means to you. How you want to ‘be” while blazing […]


Transformation and Keeping Up with the Jones’?

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Recently, the phrase “keeping up with the Jones’”came up during a conversation with a friend of mine. In doing a little research on-line, I found the background interesting. This phrase was the name of a comic strip that started around 1913 where the creator, Arthur R. (“Pop”) Momand, used his experiences of living beyond his […]


10 from 2010

January 6, 2011

As I did in 2009, I am sharing the lessons I learned during 2010 with you. My hope is that you might pick up a kernel of wisdom from this, and that you are inspired to review how 2010 unfolded for you so that you are able to carry the lessons you learned forward in […]


Transformation – A Matter of Choice

November 16, 2010

I was at a church service recently where the Rev. John Crestwell spoke about transformation.  To paraphrase, he stated that transformation starts by making choices to effect change. The context that he was speaking in was around organizational transformation. And it’s clear to me that this would also apply to individuals as well. So what’s […]


Mid-Year Goal Checkup

July 12, 2010

As we just passed the midway point of the year, I thought it would be useful to check in with you on how you’re progressing with the goals you established at the beginning of the year. Do you remember what they were? If you wrote them down, you may want to reference them as you […]