During the course of the past couple of months, as we promoted our first public Transformative Leader workshop, we have posted two dozen updates and have had many conversations and email exchanges about what the workshop was all about and what it would deliver. We made up flyers and updated our website and sent out posts on social media, but in retrospect none of the descriptions we provided really came close to representing the quality of interaction we had with and amongst our 14 wonderful participants last Thursday; their testimonies were consistently about how the workshop was so different than any other training they had experienced previously.
I have been hearing these testimonies for over 10 years as I have conducted training classes and workshops in my corporate roles, but the significance of this workshop was that it was the very first one open to the public and we wanted to make sure it was first-class and impeccable in every way. Thanks to the tireless efforts of my team, every detail was planned and executed to create a transformative environment for our guests, who brought the final ingredient in the form of their willingness to engage and participate in the conversation of transformation.
We felt truly blessed and greatly rewarded for our efforts when we went over the results of the anonymous, on-the-spot feedback we had sought from the participants. We had no less than eleven perfect scores of 10 and three 9’s on the rating our participants gave us on their overall satisfaction with the workshop, and 100%—as in every one—of the participants said they would recommend the workshop to their friends and colleagues! While these ratings provide a tangible measure of how well we met our guests’ expectations, the icing on the cake was the depth of the conversations they were engaged in, amongst themselves and with us, during breaks and lunch and after the session, about their realizations and how they wished that everybody at their workplace could have the same workshop experience.
The Transformative Leader Workshop was a gathering of kindred spirits who didn’t have to be convinced of the value of this kind of insight-focused conversation; even though some may have initially been skeptical about whether the workshop would deliver such a conversation, it was great to see that their expectations were met and exceeded during the course of the day. What was most interesting to me was that we literally had people from just about every layer of the organizational hierarchy in the same conversation, and not only did it not detract from the learning experience, it actually enriched it. I always remind the participants at my workshops that the event is more like a potluck, not a dinner party: Everybody brings something to the discussion and we all leave wiser for it. That is exactly what happened as front-line employees, mid-level managers, directors and VP’s, as well as one company president all participated in our one-day conversation. And by the way, this was not a one and done thing. We have put a number of mechanisms in place with which we hope to support the participants over the course of the next three months as they use their insights into their personal and professional lives. These include a free copy of my book, The Transformative Leader, a card deck of distinctions from the workshop, a participant journal, a LinkedIn group, and a complimentary individual coaching call with myself, among other things.
As my team and I left the workshop, we thought, “It just can’t get better than this,” but nevertheless we have already begun to develop the list of things we would do differently to enhance our participants’ experience at future events and we can’t wait to have the opportunity to put on another one. It may be difficult to beat a 9.8/10 rating but it is not impossible, and we intend to learn and grow just as we support our clients in doing the same at their workplaces and in their personal lives.
If all of this sounds intriguing to you, then let’s have a conversation. I’m fairly certain I will fall short of being able to describe the feelings of liberation and empowerment that our participants expressed to us, but I will do my best to understand your specific situation and let you know if and how this workshop might be beneficial to you and your team.
One of the manufacturing plant leaders who was with us shared with me that he was “voluntold” to be there and he was quite skeptical whether the workshop would be of any value to him. He explained that he had attended a bunch of “rah rah”—in his words—training sessions in the past and none of them had really done him any good. I was so glad, but not necessarily surprised, to hear him say that this was a completely different experience for him, one that he found both invigorating but also highly practical. How often can one say that of training sessions and workshops? Usually, they are one or the other, isn’t that right? Just a week earlier, on a separate note, I was speaking to the VP of manufacturing at a Fortune 100 company who has one operation in dire need of effective leadership. I heard that her boss had said something to the effect that because the leaders at the plant had work to do to close the gaps, they didn’t have time to go to some workshop. Of course, I am very familiar with this mentality, and I’m very familiar with its outcome, i.e. more of the same. To paraphrase Stephen Covey, if you never take time to sharpen the saw because you feel it is always better spent on trying to fell the tree, you’ll spend the rest of your days doing nothing more than barely scraping away the bark.
The difference between an organization who doesn’t see value in investing in leaders and one who is willing to send just three people to a workshop like ours is that one will continue to play whack-a-mole with their problems, while the other will use their newfound clarity to focus on exactly what needs to be done to bring about a transformation.
If you are skeptical about training sessions, I fully understand. The truth is that there are way too many cookie-cutter classes out there telling people the “secret formula” for what to do in every situation, while there are very few that help people get to the root of why it is that they are not doing what they already know they should. It is that kind of realization that we are after in The Transformative Leader Workshop and I would love to have the chance of having a conversation with you to explore the possibilities of such a realization. If you are interested in finding out more about The Transformative Leader Workshop or our other offerings, please schedule a free consultation call with me, or click the button below.
Have a great week! May you Boldly Declare, Courageously Pursue, and Abundantly Achieve the Extraordinary! As always, I would love to hear about your victories and/or challenges. Please leave your comments below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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