By John Lim, CTO

Professional Growth > Training

In the last few months, I’ve spent a large chunk of my time working with our technical staff. We call it training but really I think the focus is on personal/professional growth.

Our working title for the programs are TekU One and TekU All. TekU One is where I spend time with specific individuals to identify what we need to work on, come up with some strategy, execute on said strategy, and keep each other accountable.

TekU All is a program that I developed with Tina, our Supervisor of Services, to provide training opportunities for all technical employees at TekTegrity. The training encompasses tools, testing, labs, and most of all, accountability.

Besides the training tools, we also do Lunch and Learns on specific topics with our staff in SLO, Fresno, Costa Rica, and one of our clients’ IT department. So far, we’ve seen solid progress but training/learning is a long game that involves commitment and dedication and grit.

So, at this point, maybe some of you are wondering how you can also properly train up your staff. Well, good news! I have a cheat sheet for you.  This cheat sheet is no creation of my own doing, it is something I learned a few years ago and have since forgotten the original author so I cannot credit him or her. [Apologies whoever you are…but also thanks.]

Four Levels of Learning

Novice —> Apprentice —> Journeyman —> Master

Leadership style: Director
-Give plenty of detailed and specific Direction
-Give plenty of Examples
-Do not allow Consensus/Discussion
-Offer few Explanations

Leadership style: Teacher
-Give plenty of detailed and specific Direction
-Give plenty of Examples
-Allow for some Consensus/Discussion
-Give plenty of Access to Teacher

Leadership style: Coach
-Decreasing amount of Direction
-Offer fewer Examples
-Allow for more Consensus/Discussion
-Give plenty of Access to Coach

Leadership style: Mentor
-Offer few Direction
-Offer little to no Examples
-Offer plenty of Consensus/Discussion
-Generous amount of Explanations

Empower Your Own Replacement

The key here is to identify where your employees are at in the Levels of Learning and pair them with the accompanying leader be it Director, Teacher, Coach and/or Mentor. I see training and learning as a Pay it Forward process.  You should always push yourself to do more and train someone to replace you.

John Lim, CTO

John Lim, CTO

//John, CTO directs our team of technicians in support cases, new project planning, and research and development. John came to TekTegrity after spending ten years as a leader in Cuesta College’s Information Technology Department where he helped make possible Cuesta’s High Tech building, myCuesta portal, and Gmail integration. If you come by the office and there are dozens of donuts, bagels or fresh egg rolls (from San José) in the break room, John is most likely the food fairy who left them. And if he’s not feeding or directing the tech team you might find John having lunch at the Elks Lodge or spot him cruising the coast with his motorcycle gang.  More on John >>