Earlier this year, my brother, Mark, an exec in the manufacturing industry, and I had a conversation about leadership training.
Mark confided that he had not had a training opportunity since he graduated from MBA school almost 30 years ago. This surprised me, since he is regarded by his company as a turn-around specialist who when not at corporate headquarters developing products is sent to failing manufacturing operations to get them back on track and profitable.
He has won corporate-wide awards for overall leadership, as well as specific successes with production and quality. I find his experiences beneficial to my development and would like to share some of his specific remarks:
The worst boss I ever had once made clear to me his management philosophy, “People will do only two things, what you tell them to do or what you let them get away with.” What he failed to understand is that there is a third option and that is, people will do what they believe in doing. And history has shown us that our greatest achievements have happened when a committed people work toward a shared belief. A successful leader creates strong beliefs within the hearts and minds of those who follow them. That this is the energy source that drives initiative, enthusiasm and innovation.
I believe that leadership skills are honed through experience, but experience is nothing if one is not prepared for these experiences. And I believe the best way to learn leadership is to spend time with leaders and learning from those who have been tested in the real world.
He finished by affirming that, yes, he sees a lot of benefit in sharing experiences and learning from others in leadership training programs and seminars. Programs with a practical focus on sharpening those skills that are used regularly in the workplace are the most beneficial in his industrial environment. With the right experience and training, good leaders can become great and great leaders can become rock stars.
Mark’s story is not unusual. Surveys show that only five percent of executives are given an opportunity to develop their leadership skills through a training program. That begs the question, Why don’t successful executives seek more training opportunities?
I have a sneaky suspicion that Christy Matthewson may have an answer.
Matthewson, a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, was one of the most dominant pitchers in Major League history. He was a purist and constantly worked to gain an advantage. He is quoted as saying, “You can learn little from victory; you can learn everything from defeat.”
Perhaps this sheds some light on why some leaders may believe they have little to learn after enjoying success over the years. Rephrasing Matthewson’s advice, even successful leaders have a lot to learn when they put themselves into a position to share ideas and gain insights through training opportunities. Don’t let success make you feel invincible.
Keep that in mind as you develop your personal training goals, as well as your organization’s training plan for 2019.
Ron works with emerging leaders, execs, entrepreneurs and managers who want to sharpen their leadership skills and inspire their teams to achieve a level of performance beyond their imagination. He does this by providing high-impact, energizing programs that give the participants an opportunity to learn and practice the guiding principles of leadership that are crucial to establishing a success-oriented environment. You already know a lot about leadership, Ron helps you to amp it up and put it all together so that you use your abilities in a disciplined fashion every day to achieve results?! His course participants are unanimous in their feedback, "I wish I had attended earlier in my career." He has also brought his Leadership Excellence Course to the Battleship North Carolina, where participants learn in a most inspiring environment how to motivate people, the power of integrity, the reasons for good feedback and many other defining leadership principles that help leaders and teams get to the next level and achieve results. You can check out some other course opportunities at AcademyLeadership.com. Look in the Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte and Wilmington areas.
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