Surveys continue to report a global skills gap that is hampering hiring. Other reports suggest training is paramount to employee retention. And I am sure that when released, the ASTD State of the Training Industry report will echo last year's report and the sizable investment companies are making to address these challenges.
Are you doing your part? As a company leader, are you re-investing enough of your profits in training and equipping your employees for the future? More importantly, as an upwardly mobile executive, what are you doing to ensure you continue growing and are ready for future tasks and opportunities?
Below is an illustration I often use in speaking and workshops. I learned it from Brian Tracy...he calls it the "Freeway of Knowledge and Skill". The point of the illustration is that no matter where you start post-education...whether you're an MD, a JD or an HSD (high school dropout)...to earn more, you must learn more.
You can only increase your earning ability by increasing your value, which comes as a result of constantly increasing your knowledge and skills.
In the illustration above, the red line represents most people (or businesses) without a plan, without goals, without a commitment to continuous learning and upgrading their skills. You can see that this line has lots of variance...sort of like a typical day on the stock market. And, as Brian says, "You're up, you're down, you're up, you're down...some days you're the windshield and some days you're the bug." Whether you're a business owner, corporate leader or individual executive, this scenario leads to a lot of stress and inconsistent revenues and profits (or income). And no matter where you start, the line typically only increases by about 3% per year based on experience, life and the cost of living. So, to double your income with this plan would take approximately 24 years with compounding.
On the other hand, the green line represents the life (or business) of someone committed to increasing their earning ability.
People on the green line experience consistent, accelerated growth, strong cash flows, profit taking, happiness, etc. These are the folks in the top 20% and their earnings typically increase by 10-25% each year. By the way, conservative estimates have them doubling their income in less than 7.5 years.
So, ready to move away from the red line and toward the green line? Here are some ideas we use in executive coaching to get you started:
- Begin writing your goals to improve clarity
- Commit to reading 30-60 minutes each day in your industry
- Attend workshops, seminars, tele-seminars and webinars
- Listen to positive, motivational and educational audios while driving
- Get a mentor/trusted advisor or hire an executive coach