Alone And Unafraid
"...Knowing they would die, they charged me to guard it against the need to come. It was not what I was made for, but all was breaking apart, and they were alone, and I was all they had. It was not what I was made for, but I have kept the faith." He looked down at Moiraine, nodding to himself. "I have kept the faith, until it was needed. And now it ends."
The Green Man to Moiraine, The Eye of the World, p. 625
Alone, with no specific training and only scant guidance, relying on ingenuity and resourcefulness, the Green Man held the Blight at bay. None of us can be wholly prepared or "purpose built" for the organizations we're a part of. There will be some reliance on past experience, ingenuity and creativity to assist us. An excellent complement to either continue to develop these skills or to provide the foundation for them, is training. I've mentioned training previously, particularly on how it's usually given a tacit head nod instead of full commitment. From a leadership perspective, training does a number of things:
- Training develops your team. It provides pathways to individual growth and development, without sole reliance on the "school of hard knocks". It shows the employees that they are valued, and are an integral part of the organization.
- Training sets a standard. Having a known baseline is powerful. It provides a benchmark that can be used to assess capabilities and limitations. This enables a quicker round of decision making when encountering challenges. Instead of wondering if an employee is capable of the task, assigning it to them because you've run out of time, and then watching the project fail; instead you'll know who should make up the team to ensure it succeeds.
- Training raises the bar. Combining an individual, tailored development plan with a requisite set of training for the job means that over the long term, the benchmarks will rise. Unless there are significant driving factors (e.g. high turnover), pushing employees to the same training time and again is a waste of resources. Instead, seek to broaden or deepen the skill sets. Cross training is particularly effective. Lots of organizations operate in stovepipes or black boxes. Different departments within the same organization may not fully understand what others do. Cross training can build that organizational level of understanding, yielding greater effectiveness.