Thursday, February 24, 2011
Training is Happening Now...Are you Open to Learn?
“Training is Happening Now.” That was the sign which sat on the desk of a former manager. I loved that sign because I knew the manager was interested in my professional development just as much as his own business results. He operated in a continual teaching mode ensuring that his employees were not only working on the business to drive sales, but were also learning from daily business challenges which ultimately made better employees with broader skill sets.
However, I must admit that it took me years to appreciate the true wisdom of the concept. I ultimately realized that the phrase needed to become a mindset rather than just a passing saying in order to develop myself as I truly wanted – especially as it relates to Leadership. For some people it’s probably an incomplete phrase and could be enhanced by the following; “Training is Happening Now…Are you Open to Learn?” I’ve failed in the past by not learning from experiences right in front of me - I wasn’t open to the insight. I see many students and young managers fall into this trap quite a bit. They want to be trained but somehow expect the only time that happens is when they’re in a formal training session. They miss the opportunity to actively learn from their daily interactions and challenges. I just read a great blog post from Linda Hill, and HBS professor, about this exact situation.
Translating your leadership experiences into meaningful stories is critical during a job search. Recruiters want to understand How you lead based upon your past experiences and challenges. Creating a habit of reflecting on and learning from these experiences will ultimately make you a stronger leader, better manager and hopefully a better teacher down the road. It will also enable you to confidently tell a story of what type of leader you are, and how you've developed over the years. “Training is Happening Now…Are you Open to Learn?”