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Preparing Executive Leaders For Teaching Leaders Programs

President Of TrainSmart, Inc.

During the next two decades, 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement age every single day. That means every single day thousands of employees will be walking out the door taking with them massive amounts of knowledge.

In response to this enormous brain drain, many businesses are focusing a significant part of their leadership training programs on ways to transfer that knowledge to the next generation of leaders.

One of the most popular approaches is ‘Leaders Teaching Leaders.’ Practiced in companies from IBM and Boeing to UPS and 3M, Leaders Teaching Leaders is one of the fastest-growing executive/leadership education trends. According to some, it is now more popular than action learning and executive coaching.

However, as companies begin implementing these programs they quickly realize that before the Leaders can become Teachers they need to learn how to share their knowledge.

“When Most Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) agree to lead training in their organization they often think, all I have to do is take all this knowledge that is in my head, and with good presentation skills, I can do training,” shares Donna Steffey a trainer who specializes in helping executives become proficient in Leader Training Leaders programs. “They quickly learn that there’s more to being a strong trainer than presentation skills.”

“What they have to learn is how to take all that knowledge in their heads and decide not what would be nice for the audience to know, but what specifically does the audience need to know. Then, they have to figure out how to condense all that information into potentially a one-hour or one-day workshop.”

Steffey who often leads Train The Trainer programs for TrainSmart says the key to a successful Train The Trainer program is to teach these leaders how to do a mini needs analysis on their content.

Once the analysis is completed, Steffey works with the executives to create a design document that not only specifies the content but also the activities and time frame for the material. Only after all that is completed does Steffey start to work with them on their presentation skills.

Companies that utilize the Leaders Teaching Leaders program report that employees love having these trained executives share their knowledge, and it helps make them feel more appreciated and engaged with the company. It also has an additional benefit.

The process of designing and sharing knowledge requires a degree of increased self-awareness on the part of the executive, and this often leads them to revisit how they are implementing the values and best practices that they recommend the younger leaders use. As a result, having executives become ‘Leaders Teaching Leaders’ often results in better businesses practices throughout the organization.

For more information on implementing a Leaders Teaching Leaders program in your organization, contact TrainSmart at (800) 807-8030.