Are You a Company Ambassador, or Just a Trainer?

April 6, 2016

While on vacation recently, Wendy and I were having a mid-afternoon snack when this guy sat down with us. He introduced himself as Gary and said he was on the staff of the place where we were staying. Gary was friendly yet considerate of ‘not overstaying his welcome’ as we talked about the food, weather and island activities.

Later that day, he was at the entrance of the dining room greeting guests as they came for dinner (see photo). At the end of the evening, the staff put on a show for the guests. Guess who was in the show dressed up in a goofy outfit and even singing a song? You guessed it, Gary.

You may wonder how one gets such a neat job as this. You may also wonder just what Gary’s job is. Is he their public relations manager? Is he on the entertainment team? Perhaps he is in sales and marketing? What a surprise it was for us when we found out that Gary is the company’s financial manager.

Wendy and I talked for a long while about Gary on our way home. Is there a message for our colleagues in Gary’s story? There most certainly is.

We strongly recommend that you do not take your title or even your job description too literally. Many or perhaps most L&D titles and job descriptions are behind the times. “Instructional Designer,” “Corporate Trainer,” “Learning Professional,” “L&D Manager,” “Learning Solutions Provider” and their subsequent job descriptions are strongly geared toward Kirkpatrick Levels 1 and 2 – Reaction and Learning.

These titles do not contain even a hint of being connected to the business. There is probably little in the job description that encourages building bridges with business leaders and leveraging business partnerships.

If that is the case for you, it is time to be like Gary. First, you must change how you view your work by seeing yourself move beyond the learning world and into the business. Expand your thinking to how you can influence on-the-job behaviors and business results, as well as building and providing learning activities.

It was obvious that Gary sees himself as not just a finance person, but as an ambassador for his company. If you follow his lead, I suspect you will be seen in the same light. 

Join the Discussion

What opportunities exist in your organization for you to be more like Gary? What can you do immediately to break away from the traditional mold of your position? Let us know. Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources:

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Bringing Business Partnership to Life: The Story of the Brunei Window Washer

Do You Partner with the Business? (Ali Dickens)

Our Favorite Resources for Building Business Partnership

Evaluation Tips from the Tropics #1: A Storm Is Brewing 

Evaluation Tips from the Tropics #2: Wendy’s Trapeze Adventure

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