Take All the Training You Can

Chapter 4 Pg’s  115-117  Lead With Love By: Gerry Czarnecki

Assuming you work for an organization that believes in training, grab all of the training they will fund. If it isn’t offered, volunteer to take it. If the training you receive is poor, help the organization make it better. If you work for an organization that pinches pennies on training, then you must either attempt to get the organization to change or change organizations.

 The specific type of training you receive at your organization is critical. Some organizations focus on technical training for leaders. If you work for such an organization, then make certain you get all the technical training available. You cannot work in such an organization if the leadership thinks you are not technically competent. Other organizations believe the key skills for their leaders are managerial and/ or administrative. The same core advice holds: get the kind of training the organization wants you to receive.

 In any case, you will have to go far beyond organizational training. True, some organizations will pay for part or all of a formal degree program, and some will even send you to a full-time training or educational experience. However, you are still going to need further development. That will be a serious demand on your time. Whether you decide to get a master’s degree, professional certification, law degree, or some other advanced recognition, you will need to commit substantial time and financial resources to that effort. Do not hesitate.

 Invest in yourself. Even if the organization has a tuition reimbursement program, you will need to spend money and time on this commitment. Most evening master of business administration programs take two or more years of night classes to complete. Make the commitment, not because you are going to get a raise, but because it will help you survive the chaos of a changing world. Indeed, most organizations do not even give adequate recognition for these efforts until well past the time you complete the work.

 The credential is not the most critical aspect of a degree program. The value lies in two places: (a) the knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained from the coursework and (b) the colleague contacts made during the program. These contacts may never get you a promotion or a new job, but you will also be learning from them.

The dynamics of hearing and seeing people from other organizations are invaluable. Remember, not all development is schooling and training programs. Just plain reading may be the best way to develop yourself. Read everything and anything you find interesting or useful in your chosen field and elsewhere. If you are in business, read the Wall Street Journal, business management books, business magazines, as well as novels and books about technology, the arts, and politics. In short, learn all you can about a wide range of issues that have even a marginal relationship to your work. This breadth of learning will pay dividends as you compete for the next promotion opportunity. It will improve your understanding of the world around you and position you to take on greater responsibilities impacted by more than the immediate work you are currently leading.

Also participate in outside activities such as sports, hobbies, theater, and so on. All of these offer you not only the opportunity to get away from the daily grind of work but also a chance to network with others who might someday be a part of your career life. Volunteer in a variety of organizations and meet people outside of your current career field. Indeed, you may someday discover those contacts can help you to redirect your career. By knowing others, you also get to know other professions as well. All of these activities contribute to your development as a professional and a more complete person.

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