The National Learning Institute

Monthly Archives: December 2008

Thanks, but no thanks!

December 31, 2008 2 Comments

A friend of mine, Richard David, sent me a picture he took on New Year’s Day.  I am walking at 2,700 metres in Bever, Switzerland with the temperature at minus 18!


Richard’s message with this picture read – “The following needs to be read in a loud voice, deep base and a bit of echo:

‘And God sent down a little sun-beam to warm those who are pure at heart.’

I can’t understand why he missed!”

Richard, nor can I.

But missed I did, in the Sales Article of the Year competition, that is.  As many of you will know, the article “Tough times call for tough training” finished 2nd in the public voting poll with less than 0.50% margin to the winner. 

The article came second in the public vote and nowhere with the judging panel (there were three runners-up), so it was disappointing.  It doesn’t help much when the rules are changed half-way through the competition.  In 2007 it was purely on public vote.  This year, when it looked like a non-sales article might win, they suddenly added a panel vote which makes up half of the total score.  The chief panelist, Jonathan Farrington (who started the site and the competition and is a POM to boot) wrote in his blog midway through the contest:  

Today’s News: The Aussies are absolutely panning the Yanks over at Top 10 for the Top Sales Article Of 2008 - absolutely creaming them – you have no idea how much pain that causes me as a Brit: Don’t get me wrong, Bob is a great guy, and it is a superb article – but it is in my genes to rally against “The Oz”

So how can you win against that?  Not happy.  I do take solace in the fact that the article (although far from what I consider my best) to be at least the equal of the other finalists.  The striking thing for me (and I feel another article coming on) is that all of the sales articles are about the individual salesperson – there is nothing about team work and sales teams (an oxymoron, by the way).  

So there you have it.

A big thank you!

Many thanks to everyone who voted for the article and especially to all of you who went to extraordinary lengths to garner other votes.

Collaboration and team-work

One of the very pleasing aspects of this competition was the collaboration and support I received from people worldwide.  In all, people responded from more than 25 countries, which was truly amazing.  I now have so many more friends around the world who are ready and willing to support one another.

I wish you all the best for 2009 and if I can be of any assistance to all my friends, colleagues, relatives and new-found friends, please let me know.





Read More

Vardagens Dramatik AB

December 30, 2008 No Comments


Catharina Nasenius – Founder & Company Director, Vardagens Dramatik AB

Specialising in…

  • Custom-made seminars
  • Managerial leadership
  • Individual leadership
  • Gender equality
  • Creating the dream team
  • Human diversity
  • Organisational changes
  • Implementing company values – walking the talk

Vardagens Dramatik is a consulting team that uses interactive theatre as an instrument for activating change. The company’s unique method stimulates emotional involvement and demands active participation. This allows each participant to have the actual experience of change, rather than just learning about it on an intellectual level.

Read more about Vardagens Dramatik’s expertise, and hear what Bob Selden has to say .

Read More

End of Year Results

December 16, 2008 No Comments


This is the time of the year when many people are in reflective mode.  I’ve listed under “news” some of my highlights for 2008.

But now there’s a new one.  And you can help.  One of my articles “Tough times call for tough training” has been nominated as a finalist in Sales Article of the Year Awards at Top 10 Sales Articles  Please vote for my article by logging on to Top 10 Sales Articles.  Thanks.

Season’s greetings to all and my best wishes for 2009


Read More


Quick tips for the new manager

December 16, 2008 No Comments

The new manager’s role is challenging

Suddenly, you have moved from being a technical or professional expert where you knew most of the answers and how to really problem-solve, to being an “expert” people manager. Well, that’s what most of the people around you expect you to be – and generally straight away!  Read more, for some quick tips …

Also contact us for a free copy of the . . .

  • Team Process Evaluation
  • Project Brief
  • Delegation Matrix

Read More

Service is the key to survival in today’s climate

December 12, 2008 No Comments


It’s been said that your first time customer, even your first time visitor (say to your website) is always the highest cost to you.  But it’s the repeat customers and visitors that really provide the best returns.

I had an email from a colleague recently telling me about his latest service experience.

*I was so annoyed that the XYZ coffee shop in the ABC Centre took sooooo long to give me a second coffee one morning, even though I was close to the machine and kept looking expectantly, I decided to ‘punish’ them by going elsewhere for a year.


Read More

Tough times call for tough leadership

December 12, 2008 No Comments


What do business leaders do when confronted by a downturn?  Now, just as in previous recessions, their responses tend to fall into four main areas.

They can reduce operational costs and defer capital expenditure. That’s the approach adopted by mining giant, Rio Tinto, which is cutting operating costs by $2.5 billion per year and more than halving its capital expenditure to $4 billion.


Read More

If training’s the answer, what’s the question?

December 12, 2008 No Comments


How can trainers help improve the bottom line?

People are talking about a downturn in the economy.  Training budgets are getting tighter.  In this scenario, trainers need to be smart.  More now than ever, we have to justify the expense of training and in some cases, our very existence.  How can we demonstrate to the organisation that we can provide solutions to day-to-day problems and help improve the bottom line?


Read More

Just how important are first impressions?

December 5, 2008 No Comments


Before they stepped into their private jets to fly to Washington and beg for billions from the public purse, perhaps the CEOs of Ford, GM and Chrysler should have realised that first impressions matter.

Stung by the response to the three automotive CEOs flying in and out of Washington in their private jets, the CEOs are making different plans for their visit back to Washington this week.

All three CEOs are driving to Washington in fuel-efficient hybrid cars.  All have announced plans to sell their corporate aircraft.  And Ford and GM plan to pay their CEO $1 per year if their companies take any government money.

What do you make of this?  What’s your reaction?

Read More

Turning managers into coaches – the challenges!

December 2, 2008 No Comments


Improved performance through effective coaching should be the goal for all managers.

As a trainer, turning managers into coaches is a real challenge.  We’d probably all like to think that all managers can become coaches – but can they?

There are perhaps three reasons why it is extremely difficult for managers to become coaches:

Read More

So, you'd like to become a good manager

December 2, 2008 No Comments


Becoming a good manager takes time and patience.

It’s great when we get some initial training, but that doesn’t always happen. To start, check your current status as a manager – how effective are you now? There are many self checklists available. I have included one on page 64 of “What To Do When You Become The Boss”.  Also consider having a 360 profile completed. Once again, there are many good ones on the market – you can see one at that you can do for a very minimal cost.

Read More