Tuesday, November 3, 2009

When is the Right Time to Invest in Leadership Training?

There is an old saying for newbies looking to invest in the stock market.....

Buy low and sell high.

The concept is quite simple. You want to buy a stock when it is low, say $10 a share, and then sell it when it reaches a higher value, allowing you to cash in and collect your profits. It’s such a simple concept that many investors get wrong. They watch a stock that they like and watch it go up. Once it has proven that it will go up, they buy it. Of course, while they were watching the stock, they missed much of the run up in price. Sometimes they wait so long to invest that the stock run up is over and the stock is actually on the way down. This causes the investor to lose money. Of course, they also lost all of the potential earnings while they watched the stock go up.

Ideally an investor would identify a potentially hot stock and buy the shares when they are down in price, someplace near their recent low price. Then, when the stock goes up, they share in those gains and sell the stock when it is near its peak. That’s the way smart investors make money in the market.

The same concept is true when it comes to investing in the leadership of your organization. This investment is not in a stock, but in your employees and in their leadership skills. By investing in leadership training for your key employees you make money by having them do their best work for you. Like stocks, you want to identify those employees with the most potential and then invest in their leadership development early in their career, to assure yourself of the highest return. If you wait too long to make that investment, you don’t get the full benefit from their growth. Or worse, they may take the things that they have learned and use them to help your competitors grow. The ideal time to invest in someone is when you have identified their potential but while their greatest growth is still in front of them.

Many companies fail to make the investment in their employees. Like the “stock investor” who watches a lot of stocks but never actually makes an investment, these organizations hire people with good potential but never pull the trigger on their development and, therefore, never receive the appropriate return. Or, they wait for the “right time” for training (meaning a time when business is good) before they invest in their future. Of course, once business is good they can’t afford to pull their employees out for training, and hence they again miss the opportunity.

When should you invest in your employees? As soon as you identify their potential; as soon as you understand how much they can help you; as soon as you realize that their development can mean more profit for your organization.

In other words, to make the most from your investment in your company and your employees, you want to invest as soon as possible. Because the sooner you invest, the sooner you can get the return you deserve.

At ECI Learning Systems, we identify your future leaders and provide leadership training designed to provide a long term impact to your organization.

If you found this message helpful, I would encourage to you pass it along to your friends and co-workers and encourage them to subscribe to the Fusion™ Blog as well.

Until next time…..

Dave Meyer
ECI Learning Systems, LLC

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