Recruit, Inspire & Retain

January 2006

Ideas for "Marketing" and Providing "Customer Service" to Current and Potential Employees

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bullet RECRUIT - Think of the Team When Recruiting
bullet Welcome to 2006
bullet Cool Calls
bullet A Week in Training Systems, Inc. Main Office
bullet INSPIRE - Raising Your Own Bar
bullet TRAIN -  Your Training & Development Budget and Why It Matters (Hint: Good Teaching = Great Learning)
bullet RETAIN - Peter F. Drucker — In Memory
bullet Fun Days to Celebrate/Professional Development Conferences/Ways to Volunteer & Give
(E-mail Us For Ways to Celebrate the FUN Days to Celebrate)

TRAINING SYSTEMS' Online Catalog Gift Certificate
Start Off the New Year Learning!

Give Staff a Gift Certificatee for Books & Fun Stuff

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READERS! If you find an article worthy of Recruit, Inspire & Retain, please send it (with a note telling us where you found it)

Remember, Recruit, Inspire & Retain back issues are available at

We encourage you to use these articles in your own communications with staff and customers/members.

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Think of the Team When Recruiting

Think it’s hard for the team to get it’s work done when new staff are hired? Think again....

"We found that teams that achieved success were fundamentally assembled in the same way, by bringing in some experienced people who had not worked together before."

"We found that teams that achieved success were fundamentally assembled in the same way, by bringing in some experienced people who had not worked together before."

Northwestern researchers have cooked up a recipe for team success that can be applied to anything from a musical composition on the Great White Way to scientific research on a Great White Shark. While teamwork is essential, it is the specific combination of members that predicts the outcome. "We found that teams that achieved success were fundamentally assembled in the same way, by bringing in some experienced people who had not worked together before" said Luis A. Nunes Amaral, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. In addition to experts, successful groups need new blood to bring creative ideas.

Using data from a century of Broadway musicals, the researchers measured success by the number of weeks a production ran. Sociologist Brian Uzzi, associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management and one of the paper’s authors, pointed to West Side Story as an example of successful collaboration. Lyricist Stephen Sondheim was a Broadway newcomer, while composer Leonard Bernstein and choreographer Peter Gennaro had experience on Broadway but had never worked together before. Since the musical’s stage debut in 1957, the impact of this creative alliance continues to be felt around the world.

The researchers produced an estimate of the structure of the entire systemic network of the field to compare working teams. The study authors later applied this systemic network model to scientific teams publishing in the fields of social psychology, economics, ecology, and astronomy. Across every field, the key to success depended on finding the right balance between diversity and cohesion.

The team that produced the paper was unique. Uzzi and Amaral had not previously worked together. The new blood came from Roger Guimera, a postdoctoral fellow, and Jarrett Spiro, one of Uzzi’s former research assistants.

From Northwestern’s News On Campus Winter 2005

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Interviewing Techniques for Managers, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Carolyn B. Thompson. (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions)  Or E-mail.
Hire With Your Head: Using Power Hiring to Build Great Teams, by Lou Adler

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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Welcome to 2006

Dear Abby’s January 1, 2005 column is worth a repeat! Use it every January 1st — use it every day!

Rise and shine, and welcome to 2005(6)! This is our chance for a new beginning, the day we discard destructive old habits for healthy new ones. With that in mind, I’m printing Dear Abby’s oft-requested list of New Year’s resolutions – adapted by my mother from the original credo of Al-Anon.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things I can correct and accept those I cannot.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I’ll not speak ill of others. I’ll improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today, I’ll refrain from improving anybody but myself.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will do something positive to improve my health. If I’m a smoker, I’ll quit. If I’m overweight, I’ll eat healthily – if only just for today. And not only that, I’ll get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it’s only around the block.

JUST FOR TODAY, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

PowerPoint screen show that features 40 humorous posters that are pre-set to work on “auto-pilot”. Makes a great “WELCOME” message or enhancement to your session break. Runs about 5 minutes, and is set to automatically recycle. You can add in your own slides. (a great place to slip in your objectives!) Get your PowerPoint screen show here!
Love those COLORFUL QUOTE POSTERS you see in TRAINING SYSTEMS' group training and conference bookstores? E-mail or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to get packs of the topics you need.

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* ASAE’s Professional Development Forum published An Educator’s Guide to More Learning in Less Time, by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. President, Carolyn B. Thompson, in the December 2005 issue. Get a copy by emailing.

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A Week in TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Inc. Main Office

At the end of a typical week in the TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. main office, I am slapping myself around for the smaller than expected amount of work I’ve completed. "Bad time management", I say to myself. I’ve said this a lot, and since we help people learn that this negative talk hampers their ability to be better time managers, I figured I’d better stop. So I tried the age old method:

Write down everything you do.

Here’s my list for the first week of November, 2005:

  • October bookkeeping (see how far behind I was!)
  • Inventory and pack & ship unsold books from 2 conference bookstores back to 8 publishers
  • Help Associate David start moderating an association’s asynchronous Lean Manufacturing and their Marketing/Customer Service/Sales courses
  • Read Associate Lynn’s POOP sheets from moderating an association’s asynchronous working with staff course and from design synchronous training on recognizing sexually inappropriate behavior in children
  • Read & respond to 300 emails/day
  • Answer 2+ calls pers day from sales people
  • Look through and act on 10-20 pieces of paper mail/day
  • Write 3 agreements for conference bookstores in 2006
  • Talk with potential client, a community organization, who wants us to help their staff implement the strategic plan daily
  • Write & review final November Recruit, Inspire & Retain
  • Answer learner question about whether Lean Manufacturing webinar will be given again.
  • Connect new Associate to Associate Robin to help with desktop publishing, proofing, & printing for training on mediating formal complaints for an association
  • Update info on our website
  • Call potential client to see if ready to start project where we help figure out what actions staff do that cause customers to feel good about services
  • Co-facilitate week 5 of association’s synchronous training on managing association education
  • Finalize dates and details for association training on recruiting and retaining employees
  • Talk with Associate David about condition of home after hurricanes
  • Get 3 new Associates added to all lists and databases
  • Discuss date change with association for next year’s ethics training
  • Re-send salary survey proposal to association whose staff changed
  • Participate in weekly sales person meeting & weekly Rotary meeting re: providing Biosand filters to village in the Dominican Republic
  • Secure staffing for a 2006 conference bookstore

Ok, now I feel way better. I really did a lot and my list doesn’t hold a candle to the work all our Associates were doing that week to fill client needs.

Try making your own list for a week – we’re all doing more than we give ourselves credit for.

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Raising Your Own Bar

Send this article to each of your staff!

Everybody has one. It’s effect on us can be subtle to the point that we are not even aware of it. Everybody’s is different and it can change from situation to situation! What is it? It’s a comfort zone.

Whenever we take on a new project, try something new, attempt to set new goals or standards for ourselves we will, at some point, come face to face with our comfort zone. It’s not a matter of "if" it will happen it’s a matter of "when" it will happen.

Performance Comfort Zones

I work with professionals in sports and business and at every level comfort zones come into play. For example, when I ask a golfer what they shoot they might answer, "I shoot in the mid 80’s or mid 70’s. This is a subtle statement of their comfort zone. A comfort zone sets us up to perform within its limitations and acts as a "magnet" pulling us in that direction. For example, around the 14th hole a golfer may notice they are shooting their all-time best score. When they become aware of this their performance begins to "drift back" to the point where their final score is somewhere around their usual score. In sports and business, teams are affected by comfort zones as well. If the team is "used" to performing poorly their overall comfort zones will create "hidden" obstacles that cause them to continue their poor performance. People who excel have a higher comfort zone than people and teams who don’t. They expect to perform well while those with lower comfort zones tend to have lower expectations. The irony is it often has very little to do with talent or skill. This is the power an established comfort zone can have on us. It affects performance in sports, business and life! Are you comfortable earning the money you say you want? Are you comfortable reaching your personal or professional goals? As you know, New Year’s goals are notorious for being set and not pursued. They aren’t met because although they look good on paper there’s something in the goal or dream that is outside our comfort zones so we find ways to sabotage ourselves instead.

Actions Do Speak Louder than Words

Our actions, not our words reveal our comfort zones. A limiting comfort zone can prevent us from taking the required action we need to meet our dreams. Words, stories or excuses (blaming others, etc.) can create a "smoke screen" but actions (or inactions) are clear indicators of our comfort zones and much easier to identify. When we are honest about our own comfort zones we can rapidly uncover the hidden beliefs, assumptions and interpretations that cause us to be "stuck" and make faster shifts toward what we want.

How Comfort Zones Are Formed

A comfort zone is formed by experience which over time and repetition turns into a belief. Many of us are very good at "proving" our comfort zones are "real" by recreating the limiting experiences over and over again. Each time we do, we reinforce the belief sending subtle messages to ourselves such as, "I knew this would happen" or "I knew I’d only get this far". Over time our comfort zones become our unspoken expectations ("this is where I always wind up!"). A comfort zone is a state of mind and usually has little to do with your actual talent or skill. It’s easy to "prove" them by using self-fulfilling prophecy ("I knew it!") but why not break them instead?

Breaking Comfort Zones

There are many great ways to help break comfort zones — here are just a few.

  1. Be honest with yourself. This is the simplest and yet can be the most challenging step to take. The truth is; if you won’t be honest about them it is very difficult to move past them. Be honest. If you have a fear or limiting belief about yourself or a task/situation, put it "out there" for yourself. There is nothing wrong with it; it’s just a belief and is not a true reflection of your worth, talent or skill.
  2. Don’t assume you’re right! Don’t assume just because you’ve "proven" your comfort zone by repeating it so often in the past that it has anything to do with today. It doesn’t! It’s only a memory based on past experience ("I always do this!") and is no reflection on your capabilities right now! Take one small action step right now to prove this to yourself.
  3. Start Small. All comfort zones can be broken and expanded. Pick ONE area and create a small but steady process that allows you to bust through it. For example, if you want to improve your decision making skills take small strides each day that will break that comfort zone. Decide to make 2 decisions each day this week and your comfort level will grow within a short period of time! If you want to increase your sales but have avoided the "large" accounts, call on 1 large account per day for the next 2 weeks with no concern about outcomes. Just take the action and your comfort level will expand, so will your list, your confidence and your sales!

David Breslow is a TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. Associate and a Facilitator/Performance Coach who works with athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people perform at the "top of their game". His approach creates faster shifts in how people think, feel, and perform every day. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and has spoken to corporations across the country. To reach David call: 847-681-1698 or email: or visit the web:

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Get more tips on inspiring great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.


Comfort Zones: Planning Your Future, by Elwood Chapman


Excess Baggage: Getting Out of Your Own Way, by Judith Sills


Call TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. at 800-469-3560 or E-mail to order and get a 10% discount. 


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Your Training & Development Budget and Why It Matters (Hint: Good
Teaching = Great Learning)

You do a survey to find out what people want training on. Then you look at last year’s training & development budget and say, "OK, I need the same" OR, "hmmm, with all the cutting we need to do this year, guess I’d better cut it back by 25%." And so you turn in your budget and your survey. Then, on January 1, you start responding to training requests as they come in and as you have the money.

Sound familiar? What’s the purpose of the survey if you’re just going to ‘respond to training requests as they come in’? And, what’s the correlation between the things people said they wanted training on and what they need in order to complete the work of the organization? And what’s the use of a training budget based on a number out of thin air? And what’s the use of any of it if people aren’t learning & using their skills on the job? You guessed it – none to not much.


  • Discover "true" training needs (true = performance needed to complete the work of the organization) by looking at people’s performance evaluations (best if done by self, teammates and supervisor, but your current one is better than none).
  • Base your training & development budget on a match between what you discover is needed and the ROI to your organization. (If you can’t get buy in for this level of computation at least use a percentage of payroll – a target is to use 3-3.5% of total payroll as their budget.)
  • Be sure any money you spend on any training is done with good teaching (good teaching is defined as "teaching that creates learning and use of skills on the job"). Here’s the short of it from a Fast Company article (12/01):
    1. It’s not about you; it’s about them.
    2. Study your learners.
    3. Learners take risks when teachers create a safe environment.
    4. Great teachers exude passion as well as purpose.
    5. Learners learn when teachers help them see how much they need to learn.
    6. Keep it clear even if you can’t keep it simple.
    7. Practice vulnerability without sacrificing credibility.
    8. Teach from the heart.
    9. Repeat the important points.
    10. Good teachers ask good questions.
    11. You’re not passing out information, you’re helping people learn how to think.
    12. Stop talking—and start listening.
    13. Learn what to listen for.
    14. Let your learners help each other learn.
    15. Avoid using the same approach for everyone.
    16. Never stop helping people learn.
    Call 800-469-3560 or email for more ideas on discovering training needs, training budgets, and great teaching.
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Training Budgets Step-by-Step, by Diane Valenti

Conducting a Needs Analysis, by Geri McArdle. (10% off by typing "RIR" in Special Instructions) Or E-mail.

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Peter F. Drucker — In Memory

The Monday after Peter Drucker died, the people in the ASAE executive section listserv had some really useful ideas that’ll help us all be better people managers, and thus retain those great people:

I learned this morning that Peter Drucker passed away yesterday. He would have been 96 on the 19th of this month. We are all of us greatly indebted to this man and his work; indeed, it is easily argued that he gave us all many of the concepts and ideas that permeate our work. I am deeply saddened to know that I can no longer look forward with delight and anticipation to his next article. His passing leaves a huge void in that community of practice known as "management".

Fred Nickols

On Friday, Peter F. Drucker passed away at the age of 95. He is considered by many to be the greatest source of common sense insights about what leaders and managers ought to do. In my humble opinion, two of his books — "The Practice of Management" published in 1954 and "Managing for Results" published in 1964 — are still as wonderful and relevant today as when they first appeared. After all, the fundamentals of leading and collaborating with people still apply (as the song, "As Time Goes By" reminds us: "The fundamental things apply/as time goes by.").

For those of us who were fans of Drucker, let’s take a moment to remember him and perhaps reread one of his books. For the uninitiated, now is a good time to discover his wisdom.

Allen Liff

Years ago, I ran an annual meeting for nursing administrators. Planning for the 2nd year of that meeting, I thought it would be wonderful to have Peter Drucker as a key note speaker. I found his number and was surprised when he answered his phone personally. I told him about the meeting. He asked where? I told him Houston. He replied, "I don’t travel." The conversation ended. As I thought about it, I had the sense that he might have decided we didn’t have the budget for him, so I wrote him a letter suggesting that budget would not be a problem. He responded that, except for an annual trip for a meeting at NYU, his relationship with his wife was such that he seldom if ever traveled elsewhere. His relationship with his wife, I should add, was excellent. She, in her own right, was a remarkable person, practicing patent law and frequently improving the inventions for which her clients sought patents. At any rate, as a consequence, I elected to hold the meeting the following year in Los Angeles and he accepted.

I had the pleasure of going to his home in Claremont to bring him to the meeting. I brought with me a person who had been one of my mentors over the years, and when we arrived, he greeted us, ushered us into his den, said I have ten minutes more work to do, left the room, and returned ten minutes later. From that point on, he was "all ours" so to speak. Wise–and incredibly warm, the trip to the hotel was incredible. We had arranged a book signing for him and it was marvelous to watch him as each person approached him. Everyone was suddenly the sole object of his attention, wrapped warmly in an aura which you could almost feel. I had the pleasure of introducing him later and to say that our audience seemed to honor him as though he were "Saint" Peter.

Interestingly, his first words were: "I’m not going to tell you anything new this evening, but please, when we’re done, home and do them."

John Watkins

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Management, by Peter Drucker


Managing for Results, by Peter Drucker


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January is...
Book Month
Clean Up Your Computer Month
Volunteer Blood Donor Month
Mentoring Month

January 3 – Drinking Straw Day

January 4 – Spaghetti Day

January 6 – Epiphany/Twelfth Night/Three Kings Day

January 8 – Show and Tell Day

January 9 – Stepfather’s Day

January 11 – Milk Day, Thank You Cards Day, Make Your Dreams Come True Day, & Step in A Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day (if your dream is to step in a puddle of milk, splash a friend, and then receive a thank you card for doing it, then this is your day!)

January 12 – Clean Off Your Desk Day

January 14 – Assembly Line Worker’s Day

January 15 – Martin Luther King Day & Dress Up Your Pet Day (dress up your pet as M.L. King!)

January 19 – Hat Day & Popcorn Day

January 20 – Cheese Day

January 23 – Pie Day

January 24 – Peanut Butter Day

January 27 – Chocolate Cake Day

January 28 – Compliment Day & Blueberry Pancake Day

January 29 – National Puzzle Day

January 31 – Sdrawkcab (Backwards) Day


January 10-13, 2006
The Special Event Conference Trade Show 2006, Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, TX,

January 12-15, 2006
International Alliance for Learning’s 31st Annual Conference: Leading Through Learning, Alexandria, VA,

January 20-21, 2006
The Four Elements of Success/Path Elements Profile Training Workshop, Raleigh North Hilton, Raleigh, NC,

January 30-February 1, 2006
Center on Education and Work 2006 Conference, Madison, WI,

February 26-28, 2006
ASAE’s The Great Ideas Conference, Coronado Bay Resort, San Diego, CA,

February 26-28, 2006
IADIS International Conference Web Based Communities 2006, San Sebastian, Spain,

March 10-12, 2006
Dave Barry’s Hoot Camp, Embassy Suites, Tampa, FL,

March 15-18, 2006
19th Annual International Mentoring Association Conference, Chicago, IL,

March 31-April 3, 2006
Humor Project Cruise to the BaHAHAHAmas, from Miami to Bahamas,

April 6-7, 2006
Managing for Impact: HR Metrics and Firm Performance, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY,

April 18-21, 2006
15th Annual Association of Australian Career Counselors (AACC) Conference, Sydney, Australia,

April 23-26, 2006
Strategic Leadership for Women in Human Resources, Simmons School of Management, Boston, MA,

April 24-28, 2006
Leadership Development for HR Professionals, CCL campus, Colorado Springs, CO,

June 25-28, 2006
SHRM's 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Washington, DC,

July 7-9, 2006
National Career Development Association 2006 Conference, Chicago, IL, 1-866-FOR-NCDA

July 26-30, 2006
WorldFuture 2006: Creating Global Strategies for Humanity’s Future, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada,

Enter the 2006 ASAE Associations Advance America Awards!
February 17, 2006 is the deadline for programs conducted between October 2005 and January 2006.
May 2, 2006 is the deadline for programs conducted between January 2006 and April 2006.
For details on eligibility and award categories, go to

To Choose a Charity: &

Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics - Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation,

Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.

Find local Electronics recyclers at and

Christmas Tree –

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Copyright 2006 TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. All rights reserved.


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