During a discussion with Bob Mason, who we interviewed for our “The Qualities of a Strong Leader: Deep Insight From a Long-Time Military Leader” post, he offered so much insight on leadership that we decided to write more than one post!
Bob, along with Steve Alltop, formed The Daedalus Group, a provider of team-building, leadership and strategic planning training. He pulls from 30 years of military leadership to offer powerful insight to corporate leaders. So, naturally, we asked Bob to weigh in on workplace training. He had this advice to offer when selecting training for either your own personal development or for your employees.
- Know the provider’s qualifications. “Will you be learning from someone who has real leadership experience, or is the course more geared towed academic study? They both have their place, but to truly benefit from actionable leadership skill training, it should be conducted by trainers with deep and wide leadership experience. I like to say the best instructor is the one who has studied leadership extensively, but has also been where theory meets reality,” he says. While Bob focuses specifically on leadership training, the idea applies to any workplace training. Whether it’s a soft skill, such communication training, or a job-specific task, ensure that any trainer who presents the content is qualified to do so.
- Determine if you can truly explore the subject. You want to be able to dig in and gain a full understanding of the content, rather than receive a “fire hose” treatment that barely hits on important topics.
- Look for support after the training ends. “When a leader tries to implement what they’ve learned, real comprehension takes place,” he says. That’s why it is important to be able to have access to resources or simply follow up with a quick question afterward.
- Don’t under- or over-estimate the power of books. “I don’t know how many books I’ve read on management and leadership; there are well over 100 on my shelves. I recommend leaders read two different types of books. The first, of course, are books on leadership, but it’s important to understand that those books provide information that leaders MAY be able to apply to their own situation. Too often I’ve seen leaders try to force their teams into examples provided in a book. There will never be a one-size-fits-all leadership solution. The second type of reading is completely unrelated to leadership. Read for fun. It’s a great diversion,” he says.
It was great to hear this insight from a long-time leader and a specialist in leadership. Like Bob, we have such a commitment to our own Bud to Boss leadership training for new leaders, and it certainly checks off his boxes. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself. We have upcoming Classroom Training this summer in both Atlanta and Indianapolis or you can take our online training, right from your own desk.