You may be thinking that of course training leaders need a spine. They are human beings after all, and all human beings need a spine. Gee, Jim how insightful is this gem of information?
Well I am noting with regularity that training leaders that have a spine challenge the status quo and often go out on a limb to explain the value and purpose that the learning function provides in their organization. Likewise, spineless training managers run around moaning about their circumstances and look to blame other people and lack of budgets for the inability to implement training solutions.
Being a training manager is not easy if you know your role and insert yourself into the processes when applicable. Not just when you are invited! Too many training managers sit and wait to be invited to a meeting, or the proverbial “seat at the table.”
I write for other publications, and was asked recently to write quarterly for an online digest that targets Board of Directors for the banking industry. However, first I had to submit ideas for columns that I might be able to write. I have been writing for this same organization’s HR/Training Digest and they wanted to see if I could be diversified in my advice.
I first looked over past issues to see what had been written in the past, and I thought it was all good content, but directed only to a director’s own job functions. I broadened that notion of job function to job responsibilities, and came up with the position that a director must rely of the bank’s staff to implement a lot of processes that ultimately the director is responsible for, but not personally performing the tasks.
“Sound like you still want to talk about training” was the response I got, and I replied, “yes.” I challenged the concept that directors need to make sure that a bank is focused on succession planning, management development, and change management in this ever-changing economy. Staff needs to have these skills to perform their roles and responsibilities and if not the Directors would be held accountable. Those concepts resonated and I got the writing job.
Training Leaders need to fight the good fight, and that takes a spine. Leadership in general is about knowing what is right and fighting the wave coming at you and if your spine is strong, you can win, and so does everyone else!