It’s not easy to sustain a winning team from year to year. I know that firsthand from my experience at the Major League Baseball level but one stat I came across recently really drove the point home for me:
Did you know the World Series champion only has a winning percentage of 52% in the year following that championship?
We’re not talking about repeating as champions – we’re just talking about repeating as winners! As you can expect, being victorious by only a slightly higher margin than your losses isn’t a recipe for making the playoffs.
In business, we know we want to be champions year after year, driving gazelle-like growth with great consistency. Competitors would look at us and say, “What’s their secret and how are they so good every year out of the gate?” (New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Antonio Spurs to name a few)
The Secret To 2018 Development??…Is Not To Wait Until 2018.
If we want to utilize the successes and impact of a strong 2017 to bolster and drive continued profits through 2018, we have to make a serious commitment to planned development and growth for our people right now while we have the time. And yes, even with the holidays approaching, we are still in the 4th quarter of 2017 – not the 1st quarter of 2018. It’s not too late to ask questions such as:
Where can we get stronger and increase our bench of talent?
How do we decrease our turnover?
Can we maintain and build upon our growth and stable of leadership?
If we don’t address these questions, they’ll become glaring blind spots for our leadership and hurt our sustainability. Why? People are leaving companies with more options than they’ve had in years. That calls for a solid investment back into emerging leaders, from identifying our most promising talent internally to fostering their growth both individually and within teams. Our clients that are really ‘Good’ and looking to be ‘great’ are investing 2017 earnings into more development for 2018 ensuring their leadership strength and stability. Well managed and lead companies are sustainable companies.
700% ROI, Anyone?
You might wonder what the return on development programs for your people will be, which is a fair question. So here’s a good answer that may highlight the true benefit: Recently, I spoke with the champions of two companies we work with at Leading With Courage Academy and what their plan was for 2018 development. Both talked extensively of the continued value and ROI of their investment in their emerging leaders. More importantly, their employees spoke of the internal value and contribution they were making to the company and certainly were not looking to ‘move on,’ but rather dig in to give back all they had been given, and more!
What was the actual ROI of their investment in their own people? A whopping 700%!
That’s right. 7X! The expense in development of leadership and people was more than justified, especially when it resulted in each individual’s appreciation for their job and role in the company.
However, let’s take it even one step further: Think about the lifetime value to your business of the individual you have identified as an emerging leader.
So often, executives are concerned that the person they’re investing in today will leave tomorrow. Can we guarantee that won’t happen? Of course not. Nobody can. Still, what we can say is that if the person is worth investing in at all, do it. A person doesn’t have to stay with your company for the next 30 years to have value. Perhaps as a result of your investment in their development, they stay an additional 3 years in their role. What contributions could they potentially make in those 3 extra years for your company that they otherwise would’ve never supplied with their talents?
This is what we mean by lifetime value. It doesn’t have to literally mean a lifetime or for the rest of the individual’s career. It means for the life of their time with you. Extending that window even by a short period of time may drive immense additional value to your doorstep and be the worth the investment to your bottom line over and over again.
As I think back to my days involved with Major League Baseball, no team from year to year was ever 100% intact. In this day and age of free agency and trades, that’s practically impossible.
Still, I remember that a consistent investment in our developing talent would yield excellent results if we knew how to spot quality farm-level talent for promotion and make smart decisions about which talent to sign or trade for. If we could do that, we could reach the level we were always striving for as consistent, reliable winners, in turn, putting ourselves in a position to reach the peak of our sport that particular year. That’s not far removed from how leaders can position their teams for success as well. While the talent pool in MLB is both vital and expensive, don’t underestimate the value of developing and having your own fabulous team – year in and year out!
So if you’re going to start on the right path for the new year, don’t wait until January 1. Talk to Leading With Courage Academy today about a half-day, full-day or 2-day workshop that elevates your team to a winning level of consistency for a long time to come. Call 312.827.2643 or email LWCAInfo@LWCAcademy.com today.