NextGen Know-How: Why great leaders invest in themselves

The most successful leaders understand that they’re never done learning.

by Laurie Maddalena, MBA, CPCC, PHR, CU Management

I just returned from five days at the National Speakers Association conference in Denver, Colorado, where I had the opportunity to learn from the best speakers in the world about how they grow their businesses and stay relevant. These sessions were invaluable—hearing what worked, what didn’t and the different approaches speakers take in working with clients and making an impact. I took copious notes, which sparked many ideas I hadn’t thought of before.

This conference is one of several professional development sessions I attend each year to develop myself as a professional and business owner. In fact, every year I increase the amount of money I allocate for professional development. I have seen a direct connection between my personal and business growth and the amount I invest in myself.

Most of us didn’t receive any management training before—or even after—we were promoted to a leadership role. Most professional jobs—a chef, a pilot, a lawyer, a doctor or even your local barista—require some kind of training or certification. Leadership is the exception, but this is a disservice to the individual, their employees and the organization overall. We need to invest in our managers and executives to teach them modern leadership skills that bring out the best in employees and build exceptional organizational cultures.


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