Trial by Fire

If there were a reality TV show called Extreme Leadership Development, Mercer CEO Michele Burns would be its star. Burns came to her current job by way of Delta Airlines during and after 9/11, and Mirant, an energy company she led out of Chapter 11. Not long after she took charge at Mercer, the great recession of…

Trimming the Fat: Using a Practical Eye for an Academic Process

What makes good training? It’s a question that is literally as old as training itself and one that has never been given a truly concrete answer. So often we are flooded with the things that we must do to design effective training. In my 10 years of training experience, however, “must dos” and “good training”…

Those Who Lead, Mentor

The first decade of the century is behind us, and we are on the threshold of a new one, having learned many lessons about mentoring and leadership during the last 10 years. Perhaps the most significant is that study after study has shown that the majority of leaders attribute their success, in whole or in part, to the…

They All Shine On

“You never have enough money to do all the training you want to do,” says Karie Willyerd, vice president and chief learning officer at Sun Microsystems. Sun releases a product or an update every day around which training could be built; but putting out a new program or module daily – even with a learning staf…

The Web 2.0 Police

There may be a little irony in the fact that training and development professionals have taken so long to progress along the Web 2.0 learning curve. Even as other experts look beyond these technologies to the next stage, most learning professionals are still trying to catch up. It could be that some simply think it’s t…

The Weary Middle

After a recent survey of 2,001 midlevel leaders worldwide, combined with additional contemporary data, Development Dimensions International (DDI) offers suggestions for organizations to prepare their midlevel talent to ensure business success in todays postrecession workplace. DDIs report, Put Your Money in the Middle, defines a midlevel le…

The Trusted Leader

The defining word for leaders is trust. With trust, there is nothing leaders can’t get done; without trust, nothing gets done without lots of pain, cost, and time. I studied leadership researchers (Goleman, Tichy, Kouzes and Posner, Goldsmith, and others) and finally was able to hang their collective research onto a si…