Ins & Outs of Leadership

People often think only extroverts can be leaders. But that’s not the case.

Without a doubt, I am 100 percent an introvert. For the first half of my career, I had a deal with my various bosses: They would travel to all the trade shows, cocktail parties, conferences, and meetings, while I would be the “behind-the-scenes” person who ensured the magazine got to the printer on time, who kept the staff in line and on deadline, who put out the fires on the home front.

So imagine my consternation when the partners at Lakewood Media Group asked me to be the “face” of the Training brand. Make announcements and hand out awards to 600-plus Training Top 125 Gala attendees? Yikes! Introduce keynotes in front of 1,000-plus conference-goers? Gulp!

This was definitely way out of my comfort zone. But it also pushed me in a new direction and forced me to be more outgoing and social. And I have to admit, I do kind of enjoy being in the spotlight. At our Online Learning Conference one year, one of the security guards came up to me and told me he recognized me from my picture and wanted to let me know that his wife—a fellow chocoholic—loved my Editor’s Note in the Show Guide.

People often think only extroverts can be leaders. But that’s not the case. Our “Introvert vs. Extrovert Leaders” feature notes that the key is to teach up-and-comers about themselves—including how they best excel—and then offer training to play up their strengths. The best leaders also learn from their mistakes. See p. 18 for five mistakes leaders frequently make and how to grow from them. Our 2017 Leadership Development Survey conducted in partnership with Wilson Learning Worldwide, looks at how organizations can prepare the next generation of leaders—leaders who will be leading in a more complex, more global, and more collaborative work environment.

Our 2017 Emerging Training Leader (ETL) winners are already doing that and more—these 25 Training professionals have been in the industry for two to 10 years and have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, business savvy, and training instincts. Notes ETL Judge Bruce Jones: “This year’s group of talented nominees continues to take L&D well beyond isolated ‘programs’ or ‘initiatives,’ to being part of an integrated system that creates huge value for customers.” See “Company A$$ets$” for profiles of these emerging leaders. Congratulations to the winners!

Spring brings a host of opportunities for our Training audience. Submit a Top Training Video clip at Take the eLearning Design Challenge at Apply for the 2018 Training Top 125 at Register for our fall 2017 Online Learning Conference in New Orleans at Take our Annual Salary Survey at Participate in our 2017 Training Industry Report survey at

Last but not least, later this month, we launched a new podcast series called Training Insights, produced by Ottawa-based Kevin McGowan. It posts on under the Podcasts tab ( and features interviews with fascinating people in the training/ learning and development world. Please e-mail me ( with interview suggestions. The spotlight’s on you!

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.