Quality Fable: Sweating the Training

In the 1990s, a multi-national business machine manufacturer was a preferred employer at engineering and management schools. Candidates considered it an extraordinary learning organization.

So why was the Chairman, the primary investor in this joint venture, sweating it out in his chamber? And car? And home? This was biting Delhi winter!

Well, as it turned out, he had been directed by the European office to attend a top management training program in Switzerland.
“That’s nice” was my reaction.
“That’s not nice” was the Chairman’s correction to my reaction.
“Why Sir?”

As I recall, the debriefing included the following guidelines:

  1. You will be attending this top management training program and be expected to absorb the content from a trainer’s paradigm.
  2. Next, you will be required to replicate the training for your senior managers. The senior managers will in turn be required to replicate the training for middle-level managers. The quality of training must remain undiluted.
  3. Your role when senior managers conduct their respective trainings will be that of a coach to each of these senior managers.
  4. As a first step, please get familiar with the course materials contained in this packet.

I now understood this young Chairman’s predicament. Even though he was a recent Ph.D.

Random Thought:

The attributes of an effective Leader are;

  • Trainer
  • Coach
  • Counsellor
  • Facilitator
  • Recognizer.


  • Very well expressed.A key challenge remains what the Leader needs to transition through these roles–training the trainer JIT style requires a different type of trainer and training!

  • Excellent illustration of the need to train leaders on becoming effective trainers and coaches. Leaders who adopt this concept enable their teams to take ownership of their work.

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