Entrepreneurs

How Much Time Should You Spend on Business Leadership Training?

What’s the right pattern or frequency to get business training? I get this one a lot from business owners. Some think that if a little leadership training is good, a lot of leadership training is better. But usually, that’s not the case. So, today I wanted to talk about how often you should realistically be getting business leadership training, and how to get the most benefit from your efforts. 

Time Is Of The Essence

You can’t spend a day a week doing business training. Nor could you realistically expect to spend a week or more each month working on your leadership skills. It’s just not possible. You have a business to run, fires to put out and deadlines to meet. If you set that kind of goal for yourself, you will ultimately end up failing, and quite possibly even doing less leadership training than you would have done had you set realistic expectations for yourself. 

What we found is that for the majority of business owners stepping away from your business for a one or two-day business training session once per quarter is a great frequency.

So in January, you might do a strategic planning session and set a framework for your business for the coming 12 months.  And then in April, maybe you do a training session where you’ll learn about how to use business processes and systematization in various areas and departments of your company.  And then maybe in June you’re going to go to a sales or a marketing event to learn how to enhance revenue and profitability.  And then maybe in September you attend a time management course.  These things will change each year based on your needs.  

Don’t Do It Alone

Depending on the training topic, I highly suggest that you bring some key staff members with you. This is you making a clear statement that you see them as valuable and that you’re invested in their professional growth. Not only do you have the chance to do the training together for the direct content, but you have all the other indirect time with them over meals, and during travel which is so important for you to retain and to groom and develop these people over time.  

Take Small Steps

Once you have incorporated quarterly training sessions into your routine, I often suggest that you then start taking small steps each month to continue your learning. So, for example, we have a program for our coaching clients on leadership.  And as part of that program, their key staff members – it might be 2 people or 22 people – sit down once a month and watch a video and have a guided discussion about that video on a particular leadership topic.  It’s simple and easy to fit in, and it’s an ongoing thing. For my team, we do this monthly during our executive team huddle. We have a conversation about what people took away from the lesson and how they see themselves specifically applying it to the business going forward to help the business be more successful.

Being a great leader takes time and practice, and making a conscious effort to get better every month and every quarter will help you get there faster. It’s a journey, but definitely one worth investing your time on. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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