I recently had the opportunity to hear John Maxwell speak. Being a certified speaker through the John Maxwell Team, I feel I’ve learned a lot from his teachings. But in this speech, he said something that really hit home for me: The greatest performance gap is the one between what we know we should do and what we actually do.
As I was thinking about that bit of wisdom, I realized it was true for many of us. We go to professional development conferences, sit in on the sessions and take lots of notes. But if we’ve heard it before, we mentally check out and start looking at our emails. Then we go back to the workplace and, though perhaps we’ve struck up new relationships at the conference, we don’t bring anything back to our organizations.
I find that disappointing from a leadership perspective because the only time we can truly apply what we’ve learned is when we’re back in the workplace. But if we haven’t taken the time to think about the things we want to work on, we’re already behind the eight ball.
We often find ourselves absorbed in just keeping up with the everyday things in our given industries. After all, business changes fast and, depending on the industry you’re in and your specific area of expertise, you might find it hard to just maintain the knowledge base you need to stay afloat. But I’d like to challenge readers today with this question: When is the last time you did professional development for yourself?
What are the skills you need to have in your bag of tricks as a leader that you haven’t yet mastered? Even more so, ask yourself: What are the reasons I’ve been telling myself that I either don’t have time or don’t need to master those skillsets?
Learn more about my experiences with this performance gap and how to close the gap in this article I wrote for Forbes.