As you have might have noticed, we’ve added a regular department focusing on training, and as you might guess, much of the discussion is on simulators and in-depth classes on software and maintenance subjects. For certain, these are vital issues, but they deal with the specialized areas of your business, not the day-to-day stuff of a well-rounded training program.
You may not think of it this way, but for better or worse, training is a part of everything you do or say in front of your people. What you do, they will do. For instance, if you don’t demand that a job site be well maintained, it’s pretty likely that your people won’t either…in essence a kind of training program headed the wrong way.
So how do you set yourself up to deal with background issues—the nonverbal messages you send in seemingly trivial ways—that are an important first step to an effective training program?
Years ago I read where General George Patton wrote in his diary that it was less important what a leader said than what he did. But further, it was less important what he did than what he was, and I think there’s something important here for anyone in command…a logical first step that in the beginning involves a little play-acting.
How you develop this mantle of leadership is yours to pursue, but it doesn’t come about by accident. You hear tell of “natural born leaders”—Caesar or Patton, for instance—but if you read what they had to say about the subject and themselves, you find that it was a lifelong endeavor that allowed them to replace inner doubt with an outward show of certainty. It is, in my humble opinion, the most basic element in your organization’s success, particularly in trying times such as we find ourselves today.
As I look back over this, I see that I have not put it as well as I had intended, but the point is important so I’ll go ahead and post it, warts and all.