Brian Willett
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 / Published in Leadership Blog

As a trainer, speaker and author for many years.  I know what good training is and what bad training is.  I have delivered both of them myself.  I apologize publicly now to those participants.  They probably know who they are.  Also, I know the difference because I have experienced both myself many many times as a participant.

So what is the difference between good training versus bad training?

I am follower of many authors and speakers.  Many of them are ones that I reference in my training courses.  They are really good at speaking and motivating or inspiring you to think differently about your situation or about what a future situation could look like.  We all need these kinds of people and events in our life.

However, we also need what I call “skill” based training.  Meaning we actually look at concepts, learn them, and then apply them in a classroom environment/training environment where a coach can provide us feedback on how we applied the new skill in an application based approach.  This is the difference between good training and bad training.

How it works: 

We all must have the right attitude when we attend a training session.  This is on you to bring it with you.  Then it is up to the trainer to deliver new knowledge.  It may not be totally new knowledge, but it is knowledge that you think you know, or you used to know, and you may not be applying it correctly, or at all at this point in time. Which is why you are in the training to begin with.  Then, once you have the new knowledge you then must apply it two different ways.

1st:  In a real situation in the classroom environment where a coach can provide you feedback on how well you did it. We call this role-playing.

2nd: You apply it in the real world (in a real life scenario at your workplace) and then you tell your coach how it worked for you.  The coach would then provide you some feedback based on how well the situation went or didn’t go.

Lastly, you now take these new skills that you are applying frequently and start to change these into a skill or habit.  All of this takes time and a coach.

Now the other necessary requirements for good training versus bad training is this.  I typically have adults in my training courses.  Adults are busy, they have children, they usually know it all already (this isn’t you is it), they have been doing their job for many years, they don’t have the time to devote to training, etc.

So what does good training need for adults to actually learn:

Adults must want to learn:  This goes back to the attitude I mentioned earlier. We make decisions for two reasons.  We are usually desperate or we are inspired.  My hope is when you attend a training session you are inspired to do so. However, if you are desperate, it works to.  I just don’t recommend waiting that long to get there.

Adults will learn only when they see how they can apply it: It must help them today.  If it isn’t going to help them today, they are most likely not going to be interested in the training.

Adults learn by doing:  As I mentioned above, good training has an application piece to it.  Where you actually apply what you just learned and then get feedback on how well you did it.

Adults have problems: We all do right (lol).  However, an adult must see a problem with what they are currently doing and they can also see how the training can solve their problems.

Experience exists:  Adults usually bring a certain amount of experience to the table during training.  They want to see how they can use that experience and then use the new knowledge and build upon that experience to a desired solution.  Good training allows adults to do just that.

Adults learn best in an informal situation: Children have to follow a curriculum. Often, adults learn by taking responsibility by the value and need of content they require to understand and the particular goals it will achieve, being in an inviting environment and having roles as an active participant in the learning process makes it efficient. (wikipedia)

Adults want guidance: Adults want guidance on how they did and how they can do it better.  This guidance will allow them to become better at their job and provide for their family.  They want guidance on how they can apply the concepts in what they are already doing. They don’t want to be told what they have to do and they don’t want to have to use everything the exact way.  They want to be able to take what they know and the new knowledge and apply it the way they see it working.

Now is this a promotion for Dale Carnegie Training?  Maybe.  Because we do exactly what I just outlined above.  So yes it is.  However, it is how adults learn as well.  You can’t argue that.

If you are an owner, manager, leader, or an individual and are looking to enhance your skills in leadership, sales, communication, employee engagement, presenting in front of a group, customer service, etc. you name it and the chances are we can assist you.

Please reach out to me at or just respond in the comments area on this post.

To your success and your future.

Brian Willett
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 / Published in Leadership Blog

According to Gallup, PEW, and based off our own internal research at Dale Carnegie training, the current workforce has a serious disengagement problem.  According to the research it states that only 30% or so of the workforce is fully engaged.  Which means the other 70% of the workforce is just showing up, or even worse they are sabotaging the workforce because they are actively disengaged.

So what does it all mean.

Fully engaged employees:

  • Stay with organization longer
  • Contribute to bottom line
  • Commit to productivity and quality

Partially Engaged:

  • Concentrate on tasks not outcomes
  • Want to be told what to do
  • Do it, get paid, go home


  • Sow seeds of negativity
  • Sabotage progress
  • Express mistrust and animosity

The biggest contributing factor to engagement in the workplace has to do with the relationship an employee has with their immediate supervisor.  If they have a good relationship the employee is more apt to be fully engaged at work.  The feel like they are contributing and they also feel valued as an employee to the company.  The immediate manager has the most direct influence on these feelings.

So what can the immediate manager do:

Know what is expected of them: Against some people’s beliefs, all anyone really wants to know on the job is what is expected of them.  If they know what that is, then they can do it.  Uncertainty or unclear guidelines can be frustrating. Managers must establish this.

How is it measured: After they understand what is expected of them, the second thing they want to know is how are these expectations measured.  Again, clarity is the key.  A manager can say this is what you are responsible for and this is how we will measure whether you did it or not. Pretty simple stuff, so why don’t managers do it?

Have the equipment and resources to do the job:  Now that I know what is expected of me and how it is measured.  The next question is: Will you set me up for success.  Meaning: will you provide me with the equipment, the leads (sales), the tools for me to be successful?  The manager must clearly communicate how the individual will be supported.

Be given the opportunity to do what they do best, every day: I can tell you from my own experience as I am sure you can as well. All any of us want is an opportunity to do the very best we can. Meaning we have the right resources and support in place and then we are allowed to go out and make it happen. This kind of autonomy leads to highly engaged employees.

Have a manager or supervisor who cares about them:  I know some of you read the word care and cringe.  Well, care, means exactly what it means.  However, to take it a step further, it just means the manager or supervisor values the employees contribution to the team and what they bring to the company.

Be surrounded by employees who have a similar drive for quality: Nobody wants to be on a team where one of the team members are not pulling their weight.  We all have seen this before.  In a highly competitive world we truly are only as strong as our weakest link.  The immediate manager must address performance issues head on and quickly before it becomes a major problem.

Have opportunities to learn and grow: One of the basic desires for all human beings, is the desire to continue to grow and take on new challenges.  It has always been the case.  However, it is especially important to the millennial generation. They want to be exposed to more opportunities and they want constant feedback on ways they can get better. They appreciate additional training.

As the Managing Director of Dale Carnegie Training in Kentuckiana and Cincinnati we work with companies and individuals in implementing strategies to fight and correct engagement issues.

We do this by working with Senior Leaders on development plans for front line supervisors as well as the employees to ensure the right kind of environment is created within their companies.

If you are interested in learning more about these topics.  Email me.

To your success and your future.

Brian Willett
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 / Published in Leadership Blog

I am finishing up a great read on coaching from a managers perspective.  The book is titled Coaching For Improved Work Performance; Increase productive, raise quality, reduce absenteeism, get more creativity, increase sales.  The author is Ferdinand F. Fournies.  He has written several books around the this topic.

What is a management?

1. We can all agree that management is getting things done through others.  This is the basis of all management.  Which means you must equip the people you manage so they can do their jobs effectively and efficiently.

Picture this:  It’s a Monday morning at 7:00 and you (the manager) can’t make it to work that day.  You are sick.  So you call in and don’t show up.  What happens that day at work while you are gone?  There is a high likelihood that if you manage sales people, sales will still be made that day by your team.  Outbound phone calls to potential customers will still be made.  If you manage a customer service office. Customers will still be serviced by your team.  If you are in manufacturing, whatever it is you manufacture will still be manufactured.

Now lets flip this scenario upside down.  Lets say its Monday.  You have a few people on your team that are sick. So they call in and are unable to show up.  What happens to the work that day?  Do the calls still get made to the people who want to buy?  Do the customers still get serviced at the level they expect with fewer people there?  If you are in manufacturing, do the things you manufacture still get manufactured?  The chances are, none of this happens.  Production is stalled because you are missing your team.

So lesson number #1 in management is this.  You need them more than they need you. 

2.  Management is a series of interventions.  It is based on the things you do and the way you interact and behave as a manager.  Everything you do on the job is being interpreted by your team this way.  “Is this for me or against me.” So you must do things the right way every single time.

3.  Something I have been guilty of is trying to be an amateur psychologist.  We don’t have to be psychologists to be effective managers, nor should we.  There is no such thing as an amateur psychologist.  You either have your PH.d in it or you don’t, the chances are you don’t, so don’t try to be one.

4. In management, you are not buying people, or their minds, their values, you are only renting their behaviors.  Managers jobs are not to change people or their values.  Management is to change people’s behaviors and get them performing the behaviors you are renting from them.

5. Back to being an amateur psychologist which you aren’t.  If you are trying to determine why or why not people are doing the things they are doing, just stop it. Instead ask them why they chose to do this, instead of doing that.  Most of the time people don’t know what to do, because they only know what they know.  Your job as a manager is to make sure they have enough information to pursue alternatives in their decision-making process. If you want people to make better decisions on what they do, be sure they have as many choices as necessary to choose from.  Yes this requires training.  Training helps educate employees in the different choices they can choose from when making decisions and performing the behaviors you are paying them to perform.

6. In scientific management we use a term called behavior modification. Most managers are equipped to deal with behavior modification because we can look at a behavior and determine whether it was correct or incorrect. We can also measure it, and ask for them to correct it if necessary and we have the ability to see when it changes. People management is managing behaviors.

This book is a great read and these six absolutes can get you back on track as a manager if you have inadvertently gotten away from what your job is as a manager.

To your success and your future.

Brian Willett
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 / Published in Leadership Blog

The word disease in humans often refers to any condition that causes pain, dysfunction, distress, or social problems. It can also be used to reference injuries, disabilities, syndromes, and disorders.

Diseases are usually diagnosed through tests because a person has some symptoms or signs that give clues to a possible disease could exist. A good doctor with experience can listen to a patient and conduct the necessary tests and exams to determine if they have a certain disease or some other abnormality.

Unfortunately, some diseases are not curable, however a large majority are. Modern medicine has made this possible. It just requires a person to be aware of themselves and their body.

What about the diseases that I see in business, in companies, and in leadership on a daily basis that are curable as well? Many of these leaders and companies are not aware of the symptoms and signs, so they are not even thinking they have a disease.

Instead they have their head buried in the sand, or they sit in their offices all day. They don’t realize the impact that these diseases are having on their business and the people in their company.

Many leaders are so unaware of the signs and symptoms that these diseases exist. Instead these diseases are causing adverse effects on the people within the company and the company itself from realizing its full potential.

Here are the eight diseases that I see in business and leaders that can be cured.

Indecision: The inability to make a decision.

Have you ever been paralyzed by a decision that you need to make and delayed it. In some cases you delayed so long that it didn’t have the result you had hoped, because you waited too long. It could be a decision to change careers, buy this home over another home, implement this new process or not, promote this employee over another, etc.

Second question: After you finally made the decision. Did you say to yourself “I took the right amount of time to make that decision?” Speaking from experience as I look at most of the significant decisions I have made in my life, the chances are I delayed making the decision longer than I should have.

In most cases, the decisions that were most positive that I eventually made, I never said I took the right amount of time to make those decisions. I would say that I wish I would have made the decision sooner in almost all decisions that have been of significance.

As a leader what is the impact on your company and your people by not making a decision?

Indifference: The lack of interest or concern.

As a leader you have to be interested. If you aren’t interested, then we know you aren’t leading. You have to be interested in people and your business. I have heard leaders and people say they don’t care and therefore they don’t have an opinion. This is not leading. If you are leading your life, or if you are leading others, you have to be interested. You can’t have a ho-hum, it will be what it will be attitude. Nope, you have to be all in and your action must show that you are all in.

Indifference is a disease, it will eat away at you over time and will cause you to just exist and not make your presence known. Leaders of people can’t be indifferent, you have to be concerned and you have to be interested.

Inaction: Staying still and not moving things forward.

I am sure you are no different from me and have had a sickly feeling where you just didn’t feel like doing something. Maybe your stomach hurt a little, not so painful that you were bent over, just a little achy. Or maybe it was a headache, that could be caused by seasonal allergies, or just a little stress. Again, you are not dying or anything you just don’t feel well.

I have had that feeling many times and without a doubt when I get up and start moving I feel so much better. I get involved in something and almost forget that I even felt bad.

This same feeling happens to people and companies as well. When a leader isn’t moving things forward and action is taking place, people get lethargic and can even fall sick. Leaders realize that inaction can kill success and any momentum they might have and they act.

Insanity: Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.

The most common definition we use for insanity in business it the one I used. And it is a disease that has taken its toll on many leaders and many companies. In Charles Duhiggs book “The Power of Habit.” he states that 70% of the things we do everyday are driven by our habits. Meaning we don’t even have to think about doing them. Our minds do them automatically. Kind of scary isn’t it.

If this is the case in our life, what about our business? What are the things we are dong over and over, because that is just the way we do them?

Leaders have to stop the insanity and look for new ways of doing things to get different results. There is an old saying: “If we keep doing what we have always done, we will get what we have always gotten.”

I believe that is false now. I believe that “If you keep doing what you have always done, you won’t get what you have always gotten, you will get less, and in many cases a lot less.”

Insecure: Lacking self-confidence

If you show me an insecure leader, I will show you a leader that is failing or about to fail.  Insecurity is an internal problem. Let me give you an example. As a leader if you can’t realize that you are not competing with the people on your team on how good you look or how much authority you command, then you are insecure.

Leaders must be secure in their jobs and their own skin to allow others to take credit for what they have done. Leadership is not taking credit, it is not showing your authority, leadership is getting the right people for the job and allowing them to look like the hero.

If you are in a leadership position, and you can’t take a back seat when things go well and allow others to have some of the credit, then you should not be a leader.

Indirect: Not saying it clearly and to the point. 

I once had a leader tell me that they were so nice to people that when they conducted a termination, the employee came back to work the next day thinking they still had a job. I know you are currently thinking, how dumb are they (the leader).

The point is that this leader was trying to be so nice that they beat around the bush and the message that needed to be communicated did not get communicated.

How often does this happen in business though? Instead of being direct and getting the message across, a leader instead tries to massage it, and by doing so it has unintended consequences. One of my favorite quotes of all time is “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

Look at the example I shared about the leader not clearly communicating to the employee that they were terminated. How unkind was it when that employed show up the next day at work. Sad. Direct is better.

Inefficient: Wasting or failing to make the best use of time or resources.

Working in a fairly large business for the last twelve years of my career. I have realized the inefficiencies a company and leaders can create. This costs the company money and they also cause a lack of motivation from its employees, which also costs a lot of money.

Smart people don’t want to be jacked around or manipulated. They want to know what it is that needs to be done, and they will go out and do it. When leaders suggest to employees that they should invest their time and resources into a project, a concept, a task, and the employee does so. Once they come back around and make recommendations based on what it is they learned by investing their time and resources. Good employees don’t want to find out that this was not something that was that important or something that is going to be considered be the company.

When this happens the leaders not only wasted the company’s time and resources by having the employee do that work, but they also just told the employee that they don’t value their time, as evident with allowing them to waste their time pursuing a project that wasn’t even being considered.

Insensitive: Showing or feeling no concern for others’ feelings.

You might be saying to yourself how can you be not “Indirect” as well as telling us that leaders need to be more sensitive to its employees. Here is what I say to that:

I can be direct and still have feelings. I can be direct and still care. When it is time to be direct with someone, the sensitivity should have already been established. If it is hasn’t it is too late.

Each and every day as a leader you are making deposits with your team and people within your company, these deposits should display that you are sensitive to their needs and you are aware of their contributions and existence. The likelihood of having to be really direct and challenging to someone on a daily basis is probably very slim. Business just doesn’t work that way. However, you do have to be sensitive and aware on a daily basis and the good leaders realize that and make it a point to demonstrate it daily.

Many diseases are curable. Many diseases if treated can be eliminated. Not all, but most. The above diseases can be cured in all cases. How do you cure them?

By doing the following leaders can start to cure them if they exist.

Realize: Are we realizing our full potential or are we missing the mark on what we are capable of as a company or as an individual leader.

Then: You have to become aware of the symptoms and signs. Maybe that can be done by someone internally, but more than likely you need someone from he outside, a specialist ( a doctor), to take a look at your company to see if these symptoms and signs exist. When you have gotten used to the symptoms and signs, they just become normal to you, having someone else look at them is the only way.

Secondly: Are you committed to eliminating the diseases? What does it take and am I willing to do it? My hope would be that the answers to these questions would be yes.

Lastly: Make the commitment and do it. It will require coaching. It will require a shift in thinking. It will require training and development. And lastly, it may require a change in some of the leaders in your organization.

We all know that when a disease is not treated that it can spread and spread. The best way to eliminate a disease is to diagnose it and treat it immediately before it has the chance to spread. That is the same way you treat these IN’s within your company. You identify it and you treat it.

To your success and your future.

Brian Willett is an author, trainer and speaker. You can find more articles and resources at