I come across posts like this one all the time, that in turn have images like this:
In a way, it can all be BS — 42 percent seems like a high number in some respects, but what does that really mean? Isn’t the situation you’re really concerned with relevant or relative to where you work and the work you do? Aren’t there stats about how only a third of people even want to be managers, and/or stats about how only 23 percent of the world even has a full-time job? Sometimes it can be hard to take all the numbers and keep them in any contextual perspective, IMHO.
Here’s one number that you should be able to conceptualize, though.
That number is 12.
Check this out, per the same Fast Company link above:
- Most leaders get their first leadership position when they’re 30.
- Most leaders get their first leadership training when they’re 42.
Check out that gap, eh?
12 years before first time you lead others and first time anyone talks to you about leading others.
Seems like a lot, eh? A lot can happen in 12 years — especially from 30 to 42, which are probably the prime child-having or child-rearing years in a person’s life.
Now, you can argue that leadership training as a concept is bullshit — that’s a just a bunch of “thought leaders” up there telling you things you already know — but still, the idea of 12 years (more than a decade) supercedes the idea of “this might be bullshit” in my mind.
When someone becomes a leader of others, they should have access to resources and trainings and concepts and contexts that could help them — and that access should happen in the same year.
We know pretty conclusively, and we’ve known for a long time, that simply training your employees — and giving them access to new information and knowledge — is a key factor in making your overall company great.
We seem to know that, but we don’t really do anything about it — and probably the reason is belt-tightening in the last 7-10 years, which also explains stagnant earnings and headcount’s renewed emphasis. When there’s limited money to go around, “training” isn’t a sexy concept that can pull from the till. That’s unfortunate reality.
But 12 years — Jesus. Do you think we could cut that gap by 1/3 or so? Maybe 30 —- > 34 could be the gap in 20-25 years?