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I wrote this back in June of 2001 when I was Director of Training for a company outsourced by NJIT. It seems to me that the advice is just as good today.

Something has been in the air for the last two days and I don’t know what it is but I wish it would go away. Many normally stable, professional, bright and qualified people seem to have put their brains and talents on the back burner for some reason.

I’ve been drafting this all day when I haven’t been putting out fires and now it seems time to reiterate what seemed to me to be obvious, or written down as part of some other agreement we have or part of some training we’ve gone through.

Please remember the policies listed here, but if you’ve done nothing pertaining to the issues which brought about this memo, be thankful. I’m hiding the recipient list so that no one will assume it does or does not pertain to them. The policies to pertain to all.

  1. We all need to act professionally and responsibly at all times, to our clients and to each other.
  2. We are here to help our clients. As a Team. Working together. I expect to see A’s on your report cards for “Plays well with others”.
  3. If you need to vent, vent to me. Perhaps I can help to solve the problem. If not, at least I am on your side. Or would like to be. I had one instructor who did everything he could do to make defending him impossible. He ended up being angry with me for not defending the indefensible. I can’t keep clients if my instructors willfully destroy the relationship.
  4. Deadlines exist in order to accomplish group tasks. One or more people are depending on you to meet your deadline so they can meet theirs. Rather than assign a deadline, I usually ask when you can have something done and I expect your answer to be your deadline unless I need the task completed sooner. If you say you can do something by that point, that’s your deadline and I expect you to meet it. If you have a problem, talk to me because I also have my own deadlines, but do not break your word to me. Not meeting your deadline is not just your problem; it’s everyone’s problem.
  5. If you think you might have a problem, you have a problem and I need to know about it right away. Let me know before anyone else knows. Please don’t let me be blindsided.
  6. If a good thing happens, let us know. We all love to hear about success.
  7. Passionate is good. Rational is just as good.
  8. Intelligence is nothing without Common Sense. Don’t leave home without it.
  9. Pay attention to the details and follow directions because neatness does count.
  10. We are all overworked and yes, it still has to be done accurately, professionally, and on time.

The way to win and keep clients is to be there to solve their issues when they reach out to us. That’s why I am one of the most accessible people on the planet and you need to be also. Sometimes clients reach out to multiple vendors like us at the same time trying to find an instructor for a class. The first one to return the call gets the job. My experience has been vividly informed by the example of a contact calling me at noon. I returned the call at 12:30 because I was in class when the call came in, and the job was gone by the time I called back.

Now, a half hour is normally not an unreasonable time to wait for an answer, but in this business, it can be. I’m not asking for superhuman efforts. Just bear all the above in mind and working to be the best we can be, will be more than enough for this team.