Investing in Others

Robin Stephenson

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Business Productivity

Every so often, business executives and entrepreneurs find themselves in seasons of great activity.  This is an exciting time in the life of a business, and especially  for a start-up or new business.  What is sometimes lost during periods of high production is that they are often a consequence of specialized training, intensive coursework, or other educational endeavors that proceeded the rise in productivity.  Every so often, business executives and entrepreneurs find themselves in seasons of great activity.  This is an exciting time in the life of a business, and especially  for a start-up or new business.  What is sometimes lost during periods of high production is that they are often a consequence of specialized training, intensive coursework, or other educational endeavors that proceeded the rise in productivity.

How does this happen?  Ones’ train of thought is that when team leaders are trained on how to identify, strengthen, and utilize the skills, talents, and abilities of their team members, everyone is more engaged, encouraged, and empowered. Research shows that employees who work within their strengths often outperform those who don’t.  A 2015 Gallup study  shows that on a daily basis, employees who work within their strengths are 8% more productive and six times more likely to be engaged in their work.  To retain a productive workforce, you must have engaged workers!

To encourage teams to work within their strengths requires first and foremost the need for employees to know where their individual strengths are.  There are a multitude of online assessments that can help an individual or a team identify the strengths of each member.  However, if the leadership is unskilled in the area of identifying and coaching his/her team members in their areas of strength, it is most likely the leader will fail to not only recognize the benefit an individual can bring to a project, but there is a real danger that the best employees may leave the business for greater recognition and greater job satisfaction. While some may balk at the cost of training, true leaders understand the consequences of ignoring the need for continuous education to keep their own personal leadership skills strong.

I recently attended a training that really didn’t provide a whole lot of new information to me, however it was incredibly valuable to my leadership in a significant way.  As my own personal experience as a leader increases, the ability to look at “old ideas” in a new way becomes more valued and appreciated.  I don’t have to imagine what a scenario might look like, I can relate it to an actual experience and speculate on a new outcome.  By being reminded of sound, research-based leadership techniques, in new and innovative ways, I was able to connect the information to recent client experiences and create new ways to share, what was to me, old information.

The second, and most valuable lesson learned during my continuing education weekend, was a reminder of where my own leadership strengths were and more importantly, where I needed to focus on improvement.  The consequence of forgetting your weaknesses and living only in your areas of strength is that you will become an unbalanced leader and one that can lead others astray and the business into failure.  In what area would the consequences of investing in training for yourself or your team produce the greatest amount of productivity? In what areas do you need to focus more attention personally?

Everyone is a leader whether you are responsible for a team, a family, or even just being the best representative of you. Learn more about your strengths and weakness, the consequences are worth it.

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