Stand for Something!

I left the keynote at our Training 2019 Conference & Expo with a renewed determination to be a better leader—and follower. To try to infuse more purpose into my life and others’.

Dwarfed by a giant screen, the slender, raven-haired speaker nevertheless commanded the stage as she exhorted the audience to “STAND FOR SOMETHING! And stick to it!”

This was one of many powerful messages Shiza Shahid delivered during her keynote at our Training 2019 Conference & Expo held February 25-27 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL (see p. "The Big Dig" for coverage of the event).

And she puts her money where her mouth is. She established a summer camp in Islamabad for children living in the Taliban-controlled Swat Valley; one of the students was Malala Yousafzai, who later was shot in the head by the Taliban. Shahid gave up a lucrative job as a business analyst with McKinsey & Co. and went back to Pakistan to co-found the Malala Fund. She helped the Nobel Prize-winning gunshot victim return to school while focusing on creating access to high-quality education for children around the world. Shahid also founded The Collective, a community of leading entrepreneurs who come together to build collaborative change, and launched NOW Ventures, an investment fund that empowers mission-driven start-ups.

Now that’s what I call leading by example. And with courage and conviction. And inspiration. Like many in the ballroom that day, I left the keynote with a renewed determination to be a better leader—and follower. To try to infuse more purpose into my life and others’. That leads right into this issue’s leadership development theme. Our cover story, “Full-Circle Feedback,” looks at how leaders can benefit from 360-degree feedback from direct reports, supervisors, mentors, peers, and others, and how that openness fosters a culture of innovation and engagement. In “Training to Build Trust," we examine how important trust is in the employee-employer relationship, and what leaders can and should do to create trust.

Of course, it’s not always easy to determine whether leadership development programs actually are working. In “Measuring Leadership Development," we examine how organizations can gauge the effectiveness of such programs. The measurement continues with the results of our Annual Leadership Development Survey conducted in partnership with Wilson Learning Worldwide, which looks at what high-performing organizations are doing differently than lower-performing ones when it comes to leadership development.

Leadership development is a significant piece of the Training Top 125 application, which evaluates excellence in employee training and development. As you probably noted from the special tip-on on the cover of this issue, the 2020 application is now available at: It is due September 16, 2019. Please e-mail me at with any questions throughout the entire application process—I’m always happy to answer!

I’m also happy to invite you to our newly redesigned TechLearn Conference 2019 ( taking place in New Orleans September 17-19, along with co-located events GamiCon and Innovations in Training. Join us to explore Big Ideas in the Big Easy—where technology empowers learning!

editor's note

Training magazine is the industry standard for professional development and news for training, human resources and business management professionals in all industries.