When was the last time you had to do algebra, geometry, or statistics? Did you remember all the little steps? When was the last time you had to write a book report, or resume, or formal letter? Did you remember how to format it correctly? If you don't use your computer e-mail page or web browser page, don't you have to "refresh" it to get it current? Don't feel bad, we tend to forget some of the things we don't use. I used to be pretty good at juggling, but when my son asked me to juggle some oranges...well, let's just say we should have planned for orange juice! Leadership behaviors are the same, because they are behaviors, if we don't use them, we lose them.
We need to refresh ourselves or stay current, or we'll forget. Stephen Covey called this "Sharpening the Saw" (Habit #7) in his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Once we have gone to a "leadership class" or training, how do we stay current? A friend asked me one time, "What if I don't do anything else, what will change?" My answer was, "Probably everything else will change and then you'll end up outdated, obsolete, or just different." Just like algebra, juggling, spelling, knitting, writing, and many of the other "skills" we learn throughout life, if we don't practice them or use them we will lose them.
At CMF Leadership Consulting we produce "Leadership Training Bulletins," or LTB's, once a month and have done so for the past 6 years to help our clients "sharpen the saw." These STB's are one-page, one-topic, easily read reminders of leadership concepts and behaviors that we should continually use or practice in order to stay current and competent in our roles as leaders and exemplary followers.
Some of the topics of the LTB's include: "How Goals Help Motivate," "Why Have a Succession Plan," "Micromanaging or Supervising," "Walk the Talk," and many others. The LTB's are provided free for anyone who attends any of CMF Leadership Consulting's 40-hour courses, but they may also be purchased on our "Leadership Training Bulletins" page for only $2.00 each.
Staying current and up-to-date with trends and technology is important, but also staying current and up-to-date on leadership behaviors that deal with people and influencing people is important. Take Stephen Covey's advice and sharpen the saw by trying some of the Leadership Training Bulletins. Because if you don't use it...you may just lose it!
About the Author: Dr. Chris Fuzie is the Owner of CMF Leadership Consulting and a trainer/coach/consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations. Chris holds a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D), M.A. and B.A. in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris retired as the Assistant Division Commander of Investigations for Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service.