"The most intriguing aspect of being a corporate trainer and skills trainer is being handed an organization’s dirty laundry and being asked to wash it," says Seattle-based corporate trainer.
What do you do? I help people create a better future in spite of their past. As a trainer, speaker and motivator I provide training — customer service, trust and communication, succession planning and attitude adjustment, and the inspiration to make a change in one’s life. If no change is necessary, my seminars and keynote addresses are meant to pre-empt stinkin’ thinkin’ or lowered productivity. In a nutshell, I comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
How did you get started? Working for organizations such as Boeing and the Teamsters on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, I was sent to numerous training classes. All were beneficial but they lacked an emotional sense of mission and purpose. After one sales seminar where all I heard was fluff and manipulation, I made the decision then and there to be a national speaker, one that truly helped [people] get out of, and hopefully stay out of, their own way.
What’s a typical day like? Marketing, both my book [“Lighting Your Own Fuse”] and my seminars, then traveling. You always hope that clients will retain your services for every department and every member of their organization. And I did, in fact, conduct 187 half-day seminars for the Motorola Company. However, having not niche marketed at an early stage, I find myself scrambling to make sure the same income is created every year. You can never stop marketing. Complacency leads to vacancy.
What’s the best part of the job? The most intriguing aspect of being a corporate trainer and skills trainer is being handed an organization’s dirty laundry and being asked to wash it. I study every aspect – their history, their jargon, their personality issues, and their dreams. I am allowed to learn about the inner workings, from the boilers down in the bowels of a factory to how to make computer chips, from how to test foods to selling army tanks.
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What surprises people about your work? On tests, some people say they would rather die by fire than get up in front of people and speak. I am not saying it is easy. I once addressed 2,100 business-school officials and almost wet my pants, there were so many in the audience. But when you have a good message, and you know how to deliver it, and you have a passion to help — and you can relate, having skinned your own knees — it all comes out smoothly.