O P I N I O N
A s design professionals and business managers, one of the things we all have to do if we want to train competent people who can do things without our constant involvement is impart any knowledge or wisdom we have to them. As design professionals and business managers, this is your only real path to business sustainability and personal freedom.
theirs. This is a great training technique if you are willing to do it. Move someone in with you. That way you can see and hear everything they do and you can provide that same opportunity for them. The consulting firm I worked for fresh out of grad school did this as a part of their training process. We all had to office with a VP or higher level person for the first six months or so. That gave them a lot of time to train us in all aspects of the business. Compare this to how most A/E firms do it. Most principals wouldn’t consider letting someone move in with them, nor consider moving in with someone else. But it is a great way to really train people. 3)Invite them to listen in on critical calls. You can always bring someone else into the room when you are on an important call so they can listen in. Just tell them to be silent. If necessary, tell whomever you are on the line with that “so-and-so” is going to listen in as a training exercise.
You won’t feel comfortable delegating anything to anyone if you don’t have confidence in their ability to do the job to your standard of excellence. Some people never develop that confidence in their people and as a result are trapped. It takes a conscious effort if you really want to do this. Here are some of the best methods I have observed professionals use to impart their wisdom on the people who work for them: 1)Take them with you to meetings. This is always one of the best ways to train people. My old bosses – Don Smith and Irving Weiss – in the first A/E firm I worked at – Pickering in Memphis – used to take me everywhere with them. I went to client meetings, meetings to sell work, professional society meetings, and more with these guys. Then you always had the conversation in the car on the way there and back to go over what happened. It was invaluable for me. 2)Move them into your office or you move into
See MARK ZWEIG, page 11
THE ZWEIG LETTER MAY 3, 2021, ISSUE 1390
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