Leadership / Training / Improving
‘We don’t have time to train!’
I’m a leadership guy. I write about it, I speak about it, and I design, develop, and deliver leadership training. I’ve focused on leadership since before I left high school. Didn’t always know what I was doing but been on an upward learning curve for 30+ years.
The biggest part of that time I was on active-duty in the Army as a Field Artillery officer. Served across several states, Germany, Norway, and twice to Baghdad, Iraq.
In the Army, the two things that occupy the vast majority of your time are training and maintenance. This is especially true in a “heavy” unit which means you have tracked vehicles. I’m a product of that environment and they weigh heavily on my leadership thoughts.
When I retired from the Army in 2013, one of the things evident to me is that few companies train leaders. Oh, they do lots of training but it’s mostly on procedures, technical issues, and policies, but very little on developing people to lead others.
Have no fear for I am here. Surely, company executives would recognize the incredible knowledge and experience I possess and want to pay me handsomely to help their leaders become better leaders, to better execute the company’s business.
In ten years, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been told “we’re too busy to train.” I get it. Execution is critically important. You don’t get paid when you train, you get paid when you execute.
In every business, there are priorities that cannot be set aside. Safety, for instance. No one ever says, “Hey, let’s skip on that today. It’s just not that important.” The reality is they may actually do it but no one ever actually says it . . .
Execution is another one. Some of my most frustrating times in the Army were when we spent an inordinate amount of time doing administrative tasks instead of training. In the Army, you don’t get to execute very often (that’s combat) so training becomes execution in that it is, or should be, your primary activity.
But in the civilian world, companies execute each and every day. In fact, for too many companies, that’s all they do. Those…