A True Leader

Our very own Lori Gardner epitomizes the definition of servant leader as she listens deeply and always makes everyone feel welcome and valued.

When I was asked to take on the additional role of publisher this spring, my first emotion was elation, quickly followed by trepidation. “Boy, do I have some BIG shoes to fill,” I thought.

That footwear belongs to Lori Gardner—otherwise known as Lori1 (r) to my Lorri2 (rs). Lori is a rock star and Superwoman all rolled into one. But she also epitomizes the definition of servant leader. She leads from the heart. She is the first to raise her hand to take on new challenges. She offers unwavering support, encouragement, and empathy. She brainstorms with the best of them. And she knows her way around creating a color-coded Excel document. She lights up every room she enters with a smile the size of, well, Minnesota, and a laugh that is simply irresistible. She listens deeply and always makes everyone feel welcome and valued. In short, Lori embodies everything I wrote about in my May 2021 cover story on training leaders to create a culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Lori is one of a kind and we are all the better for working with her!

Luckily for me and the Training team, Lori will continue on as director of Special Accounts while devoting more time to her family.

As you can see, I am a big fan of giving recognition where it is due—and I hope you are, too! I encourage you to recognize the management skills and hard work of your up-and-coming Learning and Development (L&D) leaders by nominating an Emerging Training Leader candidate (or two!) at: https://trainingmag.com/nominatea-2021-emerging-training-leader-today/

And earn recognition for your own best-in-class employee training and development by applying for the 2022 Training Top 100 awards at: https://trainingmag.com/trainingtop100/. Let’s salute YOU!

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 Top 100 and Emerging Training Leaders.