I was meeting with a client last week to review a training needs assessment that was measuring management and leadership skills. Much to my surprise, the CEO joined the meeting and participated in ways that will launch real change in this organization.
In the course of our conversation the CEO said “As a manager I……..” and I blinked twice. It was not what he said that followed, it was that he led with “As a Manager.” Although every leader is a manager too, it is rare to hear one state it so emphatically.
I commented that rolling out management development training will be so much easier for this organization because of the conscious understanding that this CEO has that he too is a manager. That he uses the skills we were discussing they need to develop in supervisors and managers in this organization.
The poor guy looked puzzled that I was making an issue over this, so I spent a little time talking about the sales process that is often needed when introducing new training. Although the needs assessment strongly supported that employees would be on board with the training, it will be so much smoother with the CEO personally understanding how this training will benefit them.
I left this meeting with a positive feeling about implementation, and the buy-in that these employees will have going forward. Half of the challenge of any training is after the training program has been implemented. We need to always be looking for internal supporters of our training efforts, or it becomes just another event with little return on the investment.
Sometimes we call these folks sponsors of a training program, and I am guilty of only finding these folks on very big initiatives. Well, this past week I was reminded that we need these folks for every initiative.
Add Cheerleader to your list of supplies the next time you package up a training solution!