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Is Leadership Training More Important Than Flowers?


Is Leadership Training More Important Than Flowers?

I just got off the phone with a prospective client. They have serious employee and management retention issues. They have few managers with the right skills to be effective managers, let alone develop into effective leaders, they have a multitude of staff with less-than-effective front-line customer service skills, they are in an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds, and their reputation for less-than-stellar service is starting to spread.

So why are they calling my office?  They've used a series of trainers with no continuity between programs, no effective reinforcement of training concepts, and less-than-effective programming. This leadership training is mandatory for all supervisors and managers and it's not been effective. Senior management's not happy. I don’t blame them.

However, when I raised the issue of funding a revamped training and management performance program to address their needs, I was told, “We’ll probably be able to find some money but we've already spent a lot of money on this.” Excuse me, but were you expecting my company to provide these services free?

Well, Liz being Liz, I had to ask, “Just out of curiosity, what do you think your company spends annually on the flowers you put on the dining room tables each night?” “Oh geeze -- a lot!” was the answer. I replied, “What do you think is more important to the long-term profitability of your organization: pretty table flowers or a well-trained management team?”"

I only share this story with you so you can ask yourself a similar question:

When it comes to investing in your business what makes more sense: investing in your employees to ensure they are better able to serve your customers now and into the future or investing in “flowers” your customers may not even notice?


Copyright MMVII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about me on LinkedIn!

Liz Weber CMCLiz Weber, CMC CSP

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.

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2 thoughts on “Is Leadership Training More Important Than Flowers?”

  1. Alan Kay says:

    Say goodbye to the flowers. If companies can get leadership and training out of the HR department and into the strategic plan they'll notice their flower bill shrinks a lot.

    1. Thanks for the comment Alan. It also takes a stronger HR and management push to get designated budget monies for continuous employee training and development. The pretty flowers, carpet, light fixtures ext are nice and create a comforting environment to the customers, but if staff then treats them poorly and management doesn't react or proactively address customer and industry issues, all of the pretty items mean little. It still boggles my mind why so many companies will pay for cosmetic enhancements but will not invest in the continual growth and development of its team members.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on August 28, 2012 in Leadership Development and tagged , , , ,