Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky to have terrific mentors show me different ways to develop and coach leadership skills. Here are a few of my favorite shared nuggets of wisdom, shared by various people throughout my life.
Warning: This post will make no sense if you’ve not seen “The Matrix.”
Among all the memorable effects, choreography and fashion in “The Matrix,” was the now famous line from Neo: “I know Kung Fu.” That scene and the montage that followed it have always felt to me like lessons in adult learning. Hear me out. Morpheus, for our purposes, is a determined and dedicated learning professional. He has the luxury of leaping past learning levels 1 (“Wow.”) and 2 (“I know kung fu.”) and can now focus entirely on behavior and results. When you think about it, much of the second half of this movie is an illustration of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation.
What are the best depictions of our profession on the big screen?
Compared to other professions, there are few workplace trainers portrayed on the big screen. Maybe we’re just not considered as exciting as spies, commandos or ballet dancers. So, what are the best depictions of workplace learning professionals in film? Before we begin, any list like this needs ground rules. Mine are:
First, they must be trainers for adult learners, preferably in a work environment. They have to have taught someone to do a job or skill. That means say goodbye to teachers and college professors. Everyone, well Hollywood, loves the story of the unconventional teacher who goes to the rough part of town to inspire wayward students using hugs, toughness and an occasional violin lesson.
Many organizational leaders struggle to find a balance between training and productivity. There was a time not long ago when many managers thought the best way to teach a new employee was to toss them in the pool and let them learn to swim, only to see them drown in failure.
The companies that invested in training often overtrained,