My Boss Wants Me To Do Leadership Training

A Letter to Ask the Workplace Doctors about Leadership Training


My boss asked me to incorporate leadership training into our Conference department to help benefit the team as a whole. I was eager to begin working on this, as I reflect back to my college experiences both in your class and the organizations I was involved in. Not only am I referencing team building activities I learned, but I’ve also started reading your books to help lead me in the right direction for my team.

I’m starting with Value-Added Attitude and Action to help introduce a more family based approach to leadership within my conferences team. (Time Capsules and Working for the Best are next on my list.) I’m only a few chapters in, and have already made notes and marks to share with my group. I’m fascinated and disappointed at the same time – Fascinated by your research and words of wisdom about the work place, and your perspective on complicated issues; Disappointed in myself that I’m just now reading these books five years after receiving them.

I’m very inspired by your work, and hope to bring these ideas and concepts to my work place. We’re only a 30 person company, but I think if we can start small with the Conferences team (4 people), maybe we can branch out and change the whole company. This was just want I needed, as I was beginning to feel like I was starting to dig a rut in my career – but this as sparked me to better my company and see what I can do.

I’m keeping moderate expectations so I don’t get discouraged, but I know in the end I’ll get more out of it personally than anything. Thank you for reminding me that I can attempt to change the world, even if it starts with my team of 3 other co-workers.

Response from Dr. Gorden: You have recently been challenged by your boss to build leadership training in the Conference Department of an amazing company, Benjamin Media.

From this distance as an outsider, I sense you are at a stage of seeking clarification–Clarifying what that means to your boss is a beginning point and gradually learning what his/her definition of leadership training means will come as you share with him what it might mean to your team. So mapping that out can be a collaborative process of invention.

Although you didn’t ask for it, my advice is not to think in terms of leadership training in general, but rather as to how it might be integrated in your current and future Conference Products, such as how companies in a specific field of one of your magazines do train and develop leaders.

And secondly, as a communication expert you might explore what leadership trainers might make conference presentations from outside a particular field. This is a form of bench-marking leadership training by seeing what others are doing both in different fields and by those of us who train in organizational dynamics.

What my partner, Johnny Miller, and I did for General Electric is one example. What my associate workplace doctor, Tina Lewis Rowe, does for police departments and city government is another. She speaks to many conferences.

Leadership training is integral to any company’s workforce management planning. My study of Union Carbide’s effort to respond to the chemical spill disaster in India is another story of corporate leadership.

These are the kind of thoughts I would give if you had submitted a question about what you should do to Ask the Workplace Doctors and I hope they will assist you.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.