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New keys to training managers


Leading in dynamic environments is a task that demands constantly updating our behaviour criteria and patterns that we developed in the past. This requires a thorough review of some of the deep-rooted beliefs of many managers.

Limiting beliefs

One of these beliefs is that that training is a task for the earlier stages of a career. Whoever bases their decisions on this preconception, there are strong reasons that back this up:

  1. Training is an It involves allocating highly valuable resources: long years dedicated to learning, that comes with the direct cost of training processes and the opportunity costs of almost exclusive dedication to consolidating the backbone of our professional skills. From a given turning point in a career, it no longer makes sense to keep on investing, instead it becomes time to reap the return on that investment. Consequently, we are seeing professionals who divide their lives into two distinct parts: the time for training up and the time for putting into practice what has already been learned.
  2. Learning in the advanced stages of a career trajectory is almost exclusively based on experience, not on formal training processes.
  3. Whoever leads must devote their time to their role’s tasks. Devoting time to their upskilling is to lose sight of the purpose and it is detrimental to the effectiveness of your managerial activity.
  4. Certainly, there are technical aspects for developing organizations that are updated frequently. However, the manager does not have the obligation to know everything; he has teams that hold this updated knowledge.

Beliefs that expand our possibilities

In the face of this outdated vision typical of the times when changes were happening at a slower pace, fortunately there are many managers who embrace their own training as one of the most value-added activities and as a condition for their effectiveness. They justify this new belief with highly significant arguments:

  1. One of the most predictive success factors of success in career processes is learning ability. When someone asks: “How much could they progress?” The answer should be: “As much as you can learn.
  2. The problem with some organizations is that the highest levels of decision are occupied by people who manage more than they learn. Continuing to ascend professionally only through past merits, relationships that have been established, or simple seniority is not a good idea.
  3. More and more professionals understand that, in highly dynamic business environments, one of the greatest guarantees of success is the ability to change the way of thinking and how decisions are made to rapidly adapt to new variables in the environment.
  4. Management-level training is not just an exercise in updating technical content specific to the sector in which their company operates. It is the opportunity to acquire novel perspectives, inspiration from other areas of knowledge that enables revitalization in managerial undertakings.
  5. Experience is a privileged source of knowledge. The risk is to make it an exclusive source of knowledge. A good decision rests on the rich baggage of what has already been experienced, but it must add value through novel contributions. New challenges demand new answers.
  6. Certainly, training does not necessarily require formal actions such as course attendance. There are a variety of diverse channels, but in any case, they require time to be set apart. Sometimes these are individualized formats, such as coaching processes, conversations with experts from other areas, etc. In other cases, they are memorable experiences associated with a journey, a highly competitive environment, and more. Only what impacts us on a personal level transforms our inertial ways of thinking.

In my work, I analyse many professional profiles to determine whether it is advisable for them to take on jobs of more added value, or to ascend hierarchically. Over time, I have come to the conviction that learning, understood as an attitude, as a way of living, is one of the critical skills for whoever wishes to progress in their careers.

José Aguilar

José Aguilar López es Doctor en Filosofía (PhD) y Programa de desarrollo directivo (PDD) por el IESE. Socio Director de MindValue. Imparte seminarios y cursos numerosas Universidades y Escuelas de Negocios de Europa y América. En 2006 obtuvo, junto a Javier Fernández Aguado, el premio del Management Internacional Forum al mejor libro de Management del año, por la obra conjunta “La soledad del directivo” (Lid, Madrid, 2006).

Ha participado, en calidad de autor, coordinador o coautor en los trece libros. Es colaborador habitual en diarios, revistas de información económica, radio y TV.

José Aguilar is a Managing Partner of MindValue - a company specialized in professional services for C-level management - and the VP of the International Association of Management Studies (Asociación Internacional de Estudios sobre Management - ASIEMA). He is also a management coach and a senior member of the club, Top Ten Management Spain. He is recognized as one of the key Spanish experts in change management consultancy and training.

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