Can Companies Afford NOT to Invest in Leadership and Professional Development?
David Amerland’s most recent book, “The Sniper Mind”, takes a deep dive into what makes Snipers special. David explains the qualities that allow Snipers to make decisions under the direst circumstances, but also explains how these very special qualities can be learned by all. It is a comprehensive analysis of the mind of extraordinary individuals and how we can all benefit.
Snipers often operate in relative isolation. However, what is not isolated is the community of excellence Snipers belong to. In describing a particularly awesome display of courage and clearness of thought under intense pressure by a Sniper, David reminds us that it is “networks” that make Snipers and Special Operations soldiers so special, “There are networks that help us form habits and that determine our behavior forged inside our brains and there are networks of friends, family, and peers that we can use as an informal support group.” It is never cliché to be reminded that we become who we associate with. This can be a scary proposition at times given the amount of time we spend associating with work colleagues.
This begs the question of why so many companies disregard consistent leadership or professional development training for their employees. I often get asked what makes the Navy SEALS so special or how a company or organization can begin to take on the mindset of Navy SEALS. My first response is to remind them that it is the SEAL TEAMS, which is not a minor distinction. Then, the short answer is simple: there is a culture, a network, of high performance and excellence. The follow up questions are predictable, “But HOW?” It comes down to another short, and simple, answer: training.
As David Amerland reminds us, Sniper training is unique, intense, and consistent. As a result, Snipers are a special brand of individual. The SEAL Teams training is unique, intense, and consistent. As a result, Navy SEALS are a special brand of individual….and TEAM. Any company looking to create a culture of excellence need look no further than the investment of leadership and professional development in its employees. For better or worse, there will be a direct correlation.
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