When I ran the Leadership & Development Training Unit for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at the training academy in Quantico, Virginia, I would occasionally field calls asking for training to help struggling supervisors. Leadership was convinced that somehow, by merely attending the training, the employee would suddenly be more effective.
If only it were that easy.
I believe what makes leaders more effective is influenced by how we manage our thinking about leadership challenges.
How we manage our thinking.
Managing your perspective makes one much more effective than how skilled or capable a person is. Attending a training program or sending your struggling employees to training does not mean they will do what they learned.
Simply put, just because we are capable of solid execution, does not mean we will do it.
We must choose to do these things.
Only capability and choice together lead to use.
Capability + Choice = Use
What controls choice? Perspective.
We must manage our perspective.
A great way to do this is through our peers.
People that navigate in the same world.
People that know the consequences of our decisions. What works, what does not.
Attending in-person training with colleagues adds value to the program and the content.
The last two years of distance learning proved the value of in-person training. I think about the wonderful relationships that are developed over lunch, dinner, and cold drinks after class. Talking to peers. Listening to their challenges. Learning from them and not even realizing it.
These are the experiences we benefit from.
I am not dismissing good instruction. There is value in adding more knowledge and skills to the toolbelt. And good instructors are like good bosses. They do not just deliver content; they inspire us to want to apply that content. Just another reason I am completely supportive of in-person training and why I help people through training.
But the experience is the relationships. The things we learn from our peers sitting beside us. Our brain is always listening and learning how to be more effective.
This is the value of training together and learning from each other. This is the real transfer of knowledge.
By understanding this process, we can manage our thinking about leadership challenges and become more effective.
When you are stuck, think about perspective. What have you learned, or heard from your peers, that can help you manage your decisions?
Change your perspective and get results.
- Brian Townsend, Eagle 6 Training