Why Do I Need Leadership Training?Jan 22, 2023
by Keith “Flip” Griffin
Why do I need Leadership Training?
Isn’t what I get at my current job enough?
After all, if they are promoting me don’t, they believe that I have the skills necessary for the next level?
You may have asked yourself these questions. Heck, I’ve heard these questions and these trains of thought all too often. Even after being in the Navy for 14 years and FINALLY being promoted to my first big leadership position, I thought I had all the skills necessary.
I didn’t. You don’t either.
It’s easy to assume that if a company or business is willing to promote you or give you a new, higher-up position with more responsibilities and authority, they know you are ready for it…right? Wrong. That’s not always the case. In fact, it is less often than you think. Worse yet, what happens if you have been privileged enough to get to lead a team or have been for years is that you become stagnant. A stagnant leader has the possibility of becoming worse than a new leader.
I’ll give you the very plain and simple truth as to why you need leadership training more than ever in your life. It falls down to three simple things.
1.) The world is changing faster than you think it is. The future of leadership is being able to change with it.
2.) Different leadership challenges will always come up in your life. The need to expand your leadership “toolbox” will always be necessary to handle them.
3.) Leadership training has applicability to ALL facets of your life.
Life moves at the speed of…well life. And in today’s world, that’s fast. Ferris Bueller said it best, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” His “stop and look around” statement, is talking about growing!
Let's take two specific examples of leadership in different parts of your life. Your work life and your personal life. Both of them grow and need to grow at different rates.
First, let’s talk about your work life. On the surface, it seems simple as to why you need some sort of leadership training. If you want to move up, lead, and manage a team you need the skillsets to be able to handle the challenges that you’ll eventually face. But what about if you like where you are, don’t want the responsibility, and are happy being a follower? Let me be clear, that’s completely ok. But here’s the thing, at some point, your leader will need you. They’ll need you to not only step up and do the job you’ve been asked but they’ll also need you in another way that may not be so clear. They’ll need you to understand their point of view and why they are making the decisions that they have to face. Good leaders today talk about the “Why” to their people. People in today’s world want to know the why of what they are doing. Since COVID more and more workers are valuing their bosses' personal views, their “Why”. COVID changed the game for pivoting a company. The change came fast and furious. Some were able to adapt, some were not. Most that failed didn’t have the capacity or the ability to change. Some of that was due to industry, some were due to the workers. Having leadership training for yourself and your team even if you are where you want to be or think they should be, is valuable for being able to adapt to change, understand management’s point of view and allow yourself and your team to be able to handle the changes in much more of a less stressful and positive way.
Second, let’s look at it from your personal life. The obvious example of leadership training is translatable skills when it comes to parenting. I’m not alienating leaders who choose not to have children or haven’t had them yet, this is just an easy comparison that sometimes is overlooked as applicable to leadership training. If you don’t have kids obviously there may be challenges in your life that can only improve if your leadership skillset improves.
So, whether you have one kid or many kids, young kids or old kids, each comes with their own unique challenges. The first one usually is the test subject for the rest but more importantly for you and your growth as well. You grow as a parent while they grow as your child. Admittingly, we don’t always get it right. In fact, we screw it up a lot. But that’s how we learn. And hopefully, we don’t make the same mistake with the second child or the ones after that. We all know that the baby years are different from the toddler years as much as the elementary, middle school, and high school years each bring their own unique challenges. And while specific leadership training may not be applied directly to raising your teen daughter, being able to relate and adapt some of what you learn certainly is. Think of all the new and updated social media apps that have come about that as a parent we have ZERO idea of how to utilize them or even worse how are kids are. To be transparent, the capacity for our children physiologically and mentally just isn’t there at times to talk about honor, courage, and integrity directly like we talk about them as adults, but they do listen and will catch on when good examples of leadership or in this case parenting is applied to them.
Think of it this way, each new phase a child grows through is the same as each new challenge you face as a business or on your team. The changes they grow through are not much different than a company growing through its own changes. A new boyfriend equals a new employee. A new grade equals a new project to tackle. It is not that far off.
Lastly, your leadership “toolbox” has to keep getting updated. Just like there are updates to a computer or game or anything today. Good leaders learn new skills to help grow and guide their business and their teams. It’s the bread and butter of innovation. The speed of social media and technology alone makes it relevant to keep up as much as you can but think of your team. Whatever position you are in, can’t everyone gain more value with you becoming more educated and engaging when it comes to the value of upskilling your leadership “toolbox”?
I think so. So will your team and so will your family.
About the Author
Keith "Flip" Griffin served 23+ distinguished years in the Navy Search & Rescue Medical world, pinnacling as a Command Master Chief (E9). During that time, he demonstrated superior leadership in numerous communities, leading high-performing teams on worldwide deployments to combat zones and disaster areas during humanitarian and rescue operations. He has a passion for leadership and teaching. Raised by teachers, his gift of being able to relate and help people develop the leader in themselves and their teams is his passion. He is a veracious reader of all things and is now currently working on his own three books: an autobiography about the Search and Rescue life, a leadership book, and a non-fiction space thriller. Flip relishes being the best Dad and Husband he can to his beautiful wife of 20 years, Katie, and their three beautiful children: Payton, Josslynn and Paxton. Whether it’s watching sci-fi fantasy movies, playing board games, or being a “Soccer Dad,” nothing in life fulfills him more than the love and happiness of his family.
About Lions Guide
Lions Guide is a growth agency for leaders providing services that help business-owners and organizational leaders strengthen their performance and leadership skills so that they can show up confident in their ability to execute.
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