Many people attend a leadership workshop or seminar and get
fired up about what they learned.
But often, that fire dies down within a day or two, and the
participants go back to however they were behaving before they attended the
The “high” or peak experience doesn’t last.
Because, as Jocko Willink explains in a recent article on
Foxbusiness.com, improving your leadership is something that requires daily
thought, attention, focus, and practice.
As with so many other things in life, your growth as a
leader also involves failed attempts and sweat.
As Jocko puts it, “Being a good leader is a campaign —
it’s a fight, a struggle, a daily test that you have to work at every
There will never be a point in time where you say to
yourself,” That’s all, I don’t have to do anymore work now.” There is
no limit to the time and energy needed to be a better leader, because you are
always learning, growing, and improving.
So, how do you make the most of leadership training and
seminars to ensure the time and effort doesn’t go to waste? How do you turn
those from an “event” that happens once into something you implement and use to
Here are three ideas. These work whether you’re the intended
participant or your team is considering the program:
1. Be clear about the “why” of the seminar, not just the what.
Many people attend a seminar because the title is catchy, the presenter is well-known, or the topic is generally interesting to them. But you want to have an answer to the following question: How could I use what I’ll learn to become a better leader?
2. The seminar leader should clearly indicate prep and follow-on implementation that will help create change.
If there is no pre-work before the seminar and no indication that there will be follow-on actions or steps to implement what you learned, take a pass on that program. Your time as a leader is too precious to waste on entertainment posing as a leadership seminar.
3. Teach someone else what you learned.
After attending a seminar and outline your own action steps, plan to meet with a peer, some colleagues, or a team to share the content and what you learned from it.
In business, as in life, sustained behavioral change usually
doesn’t happen through a one-time experience unless something really bad has
As Jocko points out, it’s about making and committing to
changes that you enact. Every day.
Question: What is a recent change you were able to make that improved