How long does it take to become a great business leader?
I was hosting a business think tank last week when I posed the question;
“how long does it take for your team members to become really useful and valuable in your business”?
There was a mixture of owners of trade type businesses, manufacturers, service businesses and
professional services businesses (Accountants and Lawyers). The consensus was that with
effective training and guidance/mentoring around 5 years after they have completed their
initial training. This could be an apprenticeship or university degree depending on the
qualification required to operate in that particular industry. So therefore, a total of around 10
years (training period plus experience on the job).
Contrast this with the profession of business ownership. For most, it is no formal training and most time
spent in the operational parts of the business and little time spent on the strategic elements of the business!
Many then claim this entire time as business ownership experience.
Is it any wonder that the failure rate in business is so high? More importantly, it is probably the lack of real success
for those that remain, that is the concern. If we insist on training apprentices and undergraduates and then knowing they
will require further guidance after initial training to become valuable contributors why don’t many business owners seek out
business training, advice and guidance proactively?
Really successful business owners understand that these skills can be learned and then require further
guidance to ensure success whilst many others simply hope for success and often become disillusioned as hard
work is not the answer. That is, work smarter, not harder!
Some of the most valuable advice I have received came from Jim Rohn;“work harder on
yourself than you do on your business; never wish life were easier, wish you were better”.
Where are your efforts focused predominantly?