In business, learning and development is often viewed as a necessary evil or even an expensive distraction. In sports, on the other hand, athletes spend an enormous amount of time learning, practicing, and improving.
Imagine if you owned a sports team. It would be absolutely ridiculous to hire great talent and then not develop them further. Would you say, “I already spent millions on them, why should I spend more? They need to just get out there and play.”? Would you save money by not allowing them to practice? Would you worry that if you invested heavily in training them, they might someday leave for another team? Would you hire an athlete who wasn’t willing to spend most of their career getting better? Would you tell them that you can’t afford to develop them and they better just do their best?
Absolutely not! It would obviously be insanity. If you took that approach, your team might do well occasionally, but would be crushed in the long run. Luck and residual talent will only get an athlete so far. All great athletes know that the competition is always gaining and if they aren’t continuously improving their game, the competition will soon pass them by.
Are you letting the competition pass you by? How much of a learning (read as: performance improving) environment do you foster with your team? How much do you hold people accountable for continuously developing and improving their results? What about for yourself? Are you a business athlete on autopilot, hoping that what you learned years ago will carry you through? Or are you forever looking for ways to step up your game?