The Ingredients For An Amazing Training Experience

I was nominated by my management to attend an off-site training the last couple of days.  The topic was Performance Based Presentations.  I thought, oh goody, another class on PowerPoint.  I could not have been more wrong.

The content of the course was absolutely amazing.  I got some great strategies for both preparing and delivering presentations in different scenarios.  In the next few weeks I have a few important presentations that this will no doubt make a difference in not only my success, but also help my self-confidence.

The moral of this story though isn’t about this great course.  A manager I had at one point had a theory about training.  There are three value propositions for training: getting away from the daily grind at the office to focus, the people you meet and collaborate with during the experience, and, of course, the content itself.

I have a lot going on in my world right now, especially at work.  Getting a break from my office and those fun meetings to build a skill, and the chance to meet some great people when added to the content of the course made this an encounter that will impact me going forward.  I am grateful for this opportunity.

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Plymouth Visit

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Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower.

Earlier this month, my wife and I were in Boston and decided to make a day trip to Cape Cod.  Along the way we stopped by Plymouth, Massachusetts, where we found the Plymouth Rock which is the spot where the Pilgrims landed in the New World.  This place is especially interesting to me because I am a Descendant of one of the Pilgrims.  My grandfather was very interested in genealogy and assembled some great documentation of that fact, along with the whole family tree.

Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock, partially obscured by a shadow

As for The Rock itself, it was not as large as I would have thought.  There was a monument surrounding the rock, which was erected in 1920 to commemorate the 300th anniversary.  We wondered for a moment what might be planned in a few years for the 400th anniversary.

The Mayflower II, pictured above, is a replica of the actual Mayflower ship.  We did not board the ship for a tour, as it didn’t really seem worth the money.

I really enjoyed the visit to Plymouth.  If you are interested in history, this small town is rich with it.

Stop Making Simple Things Hard

This is the first post for me in a long time.  I have been going through a lot at work, and happy to say they are all good problems.

I have been doing some reflection lately, and I have come up with a series of posts that I will be rolling out.  They are a more generalized version of what I plan to share with my team next week as we are beginning a new year.  Here we go!

How many times have we all just blindly done things the same way just because it’s “how we always have done it?”  I am guilty of it far too often.  This past year, I experienced a situation where I was asked by my boss to do an important report for an executive.  Reading the request, I couldn’t help thinking how easy this should have been, but it wasn’t.  It was difficult only because the information was scattered across a number of people, network and cloud drives.  Meanwhile, I had to take a business trip to meet with an internal customer.  I was forced to make a choice about whether or not I should follow through a make the trip, as the deadline was not negotiable.  I ended up cancelling out of the trip, which really bothered me (fortunately I had one of my leaders that could take control).  I ended up taking advantage of the open time now on my schedule to design a solution to handle these types of requests more efficiently.  The value of solving the bigger problem is a great example of making a simple thing simple.  The effort usually will have high payback in the long run.  Imagine if you found several items in your day to day work that could be simplified with a little extra effort.  You would have more time to spend dealing with the more difficult and impactful things.