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June 2016 Newsletter


Spring graduation time. A black cap/motarboard with gold and white tassel hangs in front of a green chalkboard in classroom. Copyspace. No people. Education themes.

June is a month marked by commencement ceremonies. Speeches. Caps and gowns. Celebrations and tears (and fears).

I’ve often pondered the dichotomy of calling graduation ceremonies “commencements.”

Ask nearly anyone about to receive a diploma if they’re thinking of this as a commencement – literally, a beginning. For most it’s just the opposite – a day they’ve been striving and suffering to get to for years. A finish rather than a start. And it’s that perspective that will fuel the celebrations.

Yet, on more sober reflection (which always comes after the party), we come to realize that the lessons we worked so hard to learn are merely the tools we’ll use as we move into “real” life and try to make an impact and a difference.

I see this all the time, albeit with a bit less pomp and circumstance, in leadership training. Committed participants go through a sometimes – tough process, concentrating on the lessons, trying out what they’re learning in class, testing themselves to gauge their progress. And they justifiably feel elation when the program is complete.

But, of course, the completion of training is really just the beginning. Next is the application of what we’ve learned-actually employing the power of the tools we’ve learned … and enjoying the results they bring to us as leaders and to our teams.

It’s at that time of reflection we realize that this is merely a start toward achieving even greater goals – a commencement toward realizing our full potential as leaders and inspiring others to do the same.

Let’s celebrate beginnings!




Those are the three words Terry Traut uses to begin the exciting new “Unleash Your Leadership Potential” video. What he and the message of the video convey is the remarkable power and distinctiveness of the Entelechy/ULP method of leadership training.

Using illustrative graphics and plain, persuasive language, the video highlights the most important features and benefits of the ULP system. Special focus is given to the unique benefit of ULP in allowing clients full ownership of the program, along with the encouragement to customize the program elements to best serve the unique needs of each organization.

The video is ideal for passing along to those in your organization who are responsible for developing leaders and optimizing culture. It’s a quick, clear presentation of the risk-free, high-potential benefits of ULP, compelling the viewer to learn more by contacting Entelechy directly.

We invite you to view the video here, and encourage you to share it with others.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: Connie Shimek, Senior Performance Consultant

ConnieConnie refuses to let a title constrain her ambition and usefulness. In her role at Entelechy, “Performance Consultant” becomes Project Manager, then Customer Service Representative, then Tech Leader or Coach. It all depends on what’s needed at the moment to fulfill client needs.

Connie has spent over half her professional career in sales management with Fortune 100 companies, including Capital One and Constant Contact. She is not only known as a problem solver and strategic thinker, she is also pushing the learning technology envelope … most recently in her current leadership development project with a Fortune 50 client that leverages NovoEd (a learning platform), Inkling (mobile content platform), and a variety of WBT and virtual instructor-led training (vILT) sessions. Her experience and refined and informed judgment ensure the best learning outcome for participants – and the greatest positive impact for the organization.

In her own words, “I hate hearing ‘no’ or that something can’t be done. I want to push us forward, to embrace new technologies and new channels that make sense, and be fearless in doing that.” 

Connect with Connie on LinkedIn

DEAR TERRY: Answers from our CEO

Q_A_ResizedRaoul from Fort Worth:
Every executive has heard that the two biggest expenses for most businesses are payroll and travel. Part of my job is recommending training programs for employees. Lots of times that means having to temporarily separate employees from their main job responsibilities to attend classes. And often that means taking them off-site, with travel and accommodations adding to the cost of the training itself. My personal experience with training is that face-to-face experiences are most valuable, but I get pressure from above to minimize costs. What’s your perspective?

This is a frequently asked question I addressed in my white paper “Leadership Training that Sticks: 23 Lessons Learned over 23 Years.“For many clients, the single highest cost of leadership training is travel expenses. While virtual training via the Internet can eliminate travel expenses, many clients realize that there are tremendous benefits to getting leaders together for face-to-face training.

In the article “Technology’s Role in Leadership Development,” Bryan Austin, CEO of Game On Learning, states, “Leadership skills, or any type of business skill, are really difficult to teach because of its complexity. The way a lot of training attempts to teach those skills, they don’t allocate enough time for applying and mastering the skills. Learning and development professionals in the business world, both corporate and government, get tons of pressure from their internal clients to reduce formal training time. Managers want two-day classes shortened to one day, and one-day classes shortened to a half-day. Let’s be realistic – the acquisition, mastery and internalization of complex skills requires hours of practice in a safe environment, not minutes.”

In the same article, Ronald Riggio, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology and Director of Kravis Leadership Institute at Claremont McKenna College, states, “Technology is limited in terms of how much we can develop, and it’s hard to give the kind of personal feedback and personal instruction that is often needed … there’s nothing like face-to-face interaction, practice and feedback.”

Our suggestion is to use a blended approach, using face-to-face for initial skills training and forming cohorts, and using virtual training as part of the ongoing development program. Self-paced learning works well as pre-course instruction and for supplemental learning.

However, we’ve found that the BEST (read “stickiest”) implementations of Unleash Your Leadership Potential leverage – not bemoan – the face-to-face time. One client, for example, invites a senior leader to speak during an evening dinner about “what makes for an effective leader here at XYZ Corp.” Another client takes the class on a short field trip to tour the corporate facility. Still another invites the CEO to explain over dinner “lessons I learned as a leader.”

Leverage the benefits of technology to minimize costs, but leverage the power that comes only through face-to-face learning to maximize learning, growth, and sustained improvement.

Author: STEP Consulting