Be About Doing Something!

I watched the movie “Iron Lady” this week about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and was struck by a comment she made to a lady that was gushing over meeting her and how she felt Lady Thatcher had been an inspiration to her.  Lady Thatcher said, “it used to be about doing something, but today it is about being someone.”

Although I will admit that at first I didn’t catch the meaning, the following day it started to resonate with me about how we need to focus on getting something done rather than being focused on how people view us.  Our work essentially frames us and creates our legacy, yet when we are more focused on impressions, opinions, our star quality; I think we diminish our impact.

In the world of training I sadly can say I’ve been witness to more training professionals that are more impressed with their position then they are with the work they are doing.  In my book The Training Physical, I label people with a “Trainer’s Heart” as folks that are solidly in the camp of learning for themselves and making sure others are learning too.  In my travels I have noted that the main issue with an unhealthy training department is a lack of trainer’s heart in the staff.  They are running around bragging about how many people have been trained, instead of focusing on what the employees can now do.

Facilitators, Instructional Designers, OD Consultants and Training Managers should all be focused on doing something, making a difference and having an impact.  Focus more on results and less on your “wonderfulness” to the cause of training.

For those of you that attended the ASTD International Conference and EXPO last week in Denver, take out a pad of paper and pencil and note the speakers and vendors that you met that are focused on doing something in our industry.  On the opposite side of the page note the ones that are more into being someone.  Which side impressed you the most?  Which side do you want to follow?  And, which side would your name be on?


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