A Training Icon

Master trainer Bob Pike leaves a vast legacy of training wisdom.

“He said, ‘YES!’” I exulted back in 2010 after training icon Bob Pike agreed to become our new “Trainer Talk” columnist. Asking him to do so was one of the smartest things I’ve done in my 16-year career at Training magazine. His first column, “Training Truths,” appeared in our January 2011 issue—that and subsequent columns were chock full of Bob’s learner-centered training tips delivered with the folksy air of a master storyteller.

Sadly, Bob passed away last month, but he leaves a vast legacy of training wisdom. He taught us 6 magic training phrases, how to find new training solutions, how to embrace technology, how to eliminate scrap learning, how to align training with business strategy, how to avoid the 7 deadly training sins, and so much more.

Whether in person at the Training Conference & Expo (where he presented every year since the event’s inception in 1977) or in virtual sessions, Bob always had a twinkle in his eye, boundless enthusiasm, and a laser focus on the learner (no furtively checking e-mail on phones in Bob’s sessions!).

In his inimitable fashion, Bob met death on his own terms, inviting his family, friends, and L&D colleagues not to mourn him after he passed but to join in a celebration of his life before he went into hospice. Naomi Rhode, CSP, CPAE, Speaker Hall of Fame, read a collaboration of what and who Bob Pike is, saying, in part: “Throughout his journey, Bob has left an indelible mark on the world, sharing his passion for education and learning with unwavering dedication. As a trailblazer in the field of training and development, he empowered countless educators and professionals to transform the knowledge they impart to make it creative. Bob, you’re a living legend, a beacon of light, and an inspiration to us all… We’re all better because of you.”

Bob was an integral part of the Training magazine family, and we will all miss him. Rest in peace, Bob.

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.