I recently went to Las Vegas with my fellow trainers, Kelly and Jill, for Professional Development. We attended the ATD training certificate program. There were several ATD sessions going on, so many of the rooms in Caesar’s Palace were full of people doing professional development. It was very cool to see so many people learning and furthering their careers.
For the training certificate program, we spent two days learning various training techniques from our instructor, Sardek (also known as Dr. Love, since that’s his last name). We spent a good part of the sessions doing group work, so I met lots of new people, including folks who work for Zappos and Hulu. On the third day, we actually had to give a presentation to our small group and they (as fellow trainers) gave us tips on our presentation techniques.
I learned many new ideas from the way Sardek facilitated our training and was able to think from different perspectives based on the feedback that my small group gave me. I was also able to build professional relationships and network with the new people I met, and we are all supposed to email one another at the end of March to talk about the ideas from the trainings that we’ve incorporated into our trainings.
The ATD conference taught me that pushing the envelope is important to making training unique to each attendee… which reminds me of something else – The Beatles (you know I have to put some pop culture knowledge into my blog posts!)
During our first night in Las Vegas, we went to see The Beatles: Love, a Cirque de Soleil show. If you’ve never seen it and you love The Beatles, please do yourself a favor and go see it. If you’re curious, here’s a snippet of some of the magic packed into an hour and a half of showtime.
I told Kelly and Jill that I would probably cry at some point during the show, because The Beatles are my favorite band and have been a longstanding love of mine. Abbey Road is my favorite album of all time and the first record I got on vinyl. Octopus’s Garden is my alarm song that wakes me up every morning. I’ve known the words to Hey Jude for as long as I can remember. Twist and Shout is in one of my favorite scenes of my favorite movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (see THAT blog post here).
As you’ve probably guessed by now, The Beatles are a huge part of my life. I know every song. When Paul McCartney (my personal favorite Beatle) sang Hey Jude at the London Olympics and the camera panned out to show the ENTIRE WORLD singing along with him…that’s all you need to know about the legacy that The Beatles left in their wake.
And that’s the word I’m hinging this post on – legacy. In your professional life, you have amazing opportunities to create a legacy for yourself. Legacy defines the mark that you make on your company, your team, even in just the work that you do.
When we think about The Beatles, we think about a band that changed musical history. These floppy haired boys from Liverpool sang songs about wanting to hold your hand, and everyone went wild for it. The Beatles were a phenomenon. They changed music. But, an important thing to remember – The Beatles changed THEIR music. I could find someone reading this post right now and ask them what Beatles album they prefer, and that will tell me everything I need to know. Some people want to hang on to the Twist and Shout era, some people flow along with The Beatles, no matter the sound. But what we can learn from The Beatles and their legacy (there’s that word again) is that they changed their sound. They weren’t afraid to take risks (and probably take a little more than risks, judging by the song I Am the Walrus).
The times changed. They 60s melted away from A-line dresses and perfectly coiffed hair into peace signs and bell bottoms. The Beatles changed.
We can’t be afraid to push the envelope and to change. Often times, I am guilty of wanting to stick with what is working, because I know that’s getting the job done… but what if I could get the job done better, by doing something a little differently? Circle back to what I mentioned above – I learned so many new training techniques at the conference I attended, and I know they are going to help me do my job better. Sometimes, that little difference is all it takes to both change your sound and cement your legacy.
Deeanna S. is a Software Trainer, cat mom, and Tudor history buff who loves the outdoors.