“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”— Dale Carnegie

Have you ever purchased something and never used it?  

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t done that. One of the key reasons people hesitate to invest in training, coaching, tools, etc., is that they have often seen the opportunity squandered. Even if they can’t articulate exactly why they are hesitating, this is often the hidden barrier to signing the check.

This post continues the focus on ensuring your organization is making investments that return great value. In my first post, Why to Invest $ in Training, Coaching, & Making Leaders Better?, I proposed five key steps. This post is an elaboration on step #4, show your commitment.

Before investing, you must have a realistic plan to ensure the investment will be useful to you and the organization. We discussed that in the previous newsletter on value. Before you write the check, ensure that the investment will be useful and used.

Before I make any significant investment, I do the following steps.

  1. Gut check on value. Am I confident in the value that this investment will provide?  If that is true, I need to make a plan to ensure I get the value.
  2. Start your project notebook now. A significant investment in training, coaching, or tools is akin to a project.  You expect value from a project. You expect a project will take time.  You expect a project will provide results. You expect a project to have a plan. Start the plan and the associated notes now before the check is written.
  3. Identify what is needed for success.  Any investment like this implies that there will be a change that has to be made to ensure the value is used and the value is realized.  Change implies that there will be barriers and enablers. Know what they are!   Note, once you get started, identifying the barriers and enablers will become even clearer. However, start with eyes open wide to the fact that the required change might not be easy.
  4. Plan how to be successful.  One of the key barriers is always habits or current practice. When people are under pressure, they will revert to whatever they have done previously. Have a plan to ensure that this new “thing” is actually used.  For example, with the previous example of training in Python, how will you make sure what is learned is used?  I encourage clients to do more than the training. They must also make some changes to how Python code is reviewed before being added to the system. When people take Exceptional Difference programs, they have expert guidance in immediately applying the learning from their assignments to their work environment.
  5. Make a plan to check on results.  When investing, positive results are expected. In previous newsletters, I strongly suggested that clear measures of success be identified. In this step, it is imperative you make a plan for when to check on the results and who will measure them.

When you are being challenged on whether to invest, the biggest barrier is fear that the investment will not be worthwhile.

Show your commitment by making a plan to ensure the investment is both useful and used. 

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,


Alan Willett

Are you ready to do exceptional leadership in technology development?  Learn about the Exceptional Difference programs here.

Contact [email protected] to learn more.

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