In 2015 an employee survey tipped off Midwest Express Inc. (MEI) to some disquiet among their employees. In order to address some of the issues unearthed, they implemented an annual, voluntary leadership conference aimed at helping supervisors and managers gain the skills and tools necessary to ensure a safe, happy, and engaged workforce.
Now in its third year, this Leadership Conference has resulted in improved employee morale, lower turnover, and increased internal promotions.
“We have a very robust training and development platform in our organization, because training is important to us,” says Kim Miller, Organizational Development Specialist for Honda Logistics North America. In addition to internal training, MEI and Honda are often looking to partner with outside entities who can provide expertise on various subjects.
The 2019 event, which took place at the Honda Heritage Center in Marysville, Ohio, featured a four-hour workshop presented by Bob Allen, President and CEO of Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio.
Miller and Allen have an established relationship that has resulted in the group’s involvement with the conference every year since it’s inception. This year, however, included one notable difference: rather than teaching a standard course based on the principles of Dale Carnegie, Allen presented a workshop focused on Marshall Goldsmith’s 2007 self-help book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful!
When Miller was approached by colleagues looking for someone to teach this material, her first instinct was to reach out to Allen, who gladly dug into Goldsmith’s work in preparation for the event.
“Once I really embraced, studied and digested Marshall Goldsmith’s work it was extremely evident that [his and Dale Carnegie’s] values and philosophies are so congruent with each other,” says Allen. “The approaches and empathy toward others and introspective search for improvement are centered upon positive humanistic change, not hypothetical situations. Both…provide exacting methods and suggestions that assist organizations [to] become more efficient by focusing on the individual in lieu of vague higher level theories or suggestions that are difficult to implement.”
The interactive workshop was attended by over one hundred leaders from various MEI departments who were treated to lessons on success, the habits that hold one back, and the power of feedback. The afternoon moved between sessions of rapt attention as the room of white-clad figures listened to Allen, and boisterous moments of participation when employees worked together to answer questions and practice new skills.
By interspersing the lectures with periods of collaboration and attendee input, courses presented by Dale Carnegie Training ensure that attendees understand the material and exactly how they can implement it in their regular workdays. The success of this approach is evident in the growth Allen sees in the organization year over year.
“Negativity has been reduced, retention of employees…has increased, people are working together more cohesively, and leaders are taking on more responsibility,” he says of MEI’s progress. “It is truly the greatest reward of this business — to see that your efforts and programs are taken seriously, applied, and have a lasting impression and positive impact on an organization.”
“Successful people become great leaders when they learn to shift the focus from themselves to others.” ― Marshall Goldsmith, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful