Recently, I was talking with a mentee of mine and she was telling me that she just came from a resume workshop sponsored by her college. Seeing as though I just wrote a book that covers this topic in detail, I asked her to tell me a bit about the workshop. I wanted to see what kind of advice college counselors are giving students about resumes these days.

Me: How was the workshop?
Mentee: It was okay. Simple stuff.
Me: Hmm…. Did they talk to you about LinkedIn at all?
Mentee: No… What’s that?

Here’s the deal:

When giving advice in the areas of professional development or leadership, advice that doesn’t lead to competitive advantage is not good advice. What good does it do to teach someone how to do something like everyone else when the point is to be unique and stand above the crowd?

Teach people how to be better than someone else. The purpose of advice, coaching, and training in my opinion is to cover the basics but instill competitive advantage. Teaching someone how to do something like everyone else may help them learn to compete but it won’t help them win or grow.

Cover the basics for beginners but inspire them to go beyond. Yes, some people will need to learn a skill or process on an entry level basis but even then, training should make them competitive. I never want to confuse a new client and bog them down with concepts that they aren’t ready to understand but I also never want them to think “entry level” is mastery.

“The best” are always sharpening their sword. No matter the industry, people who do things well do so because they are always looking to grow. These are the people who we should learn from as presenters and consultants. What can we learn to make our practice better? What can we share with our clients to help them distinguish themselves from competitors?



Leadership takeaway: As a leader, your team is a reflection of yourself. Teach your team things that give corporate and individual competitive advantage and take inventory of the results of your leadership. Not sure how to inspire your team to grow? Ask me how.

HR takeaway: Training and development are the heart beat of an organization. Employee performance is the life blood. Strengthen your training and development and have Management create opportunities to re-enforce newly developed skills and you’ll see your productivity and retention increase. Looking to explore the different kinds of training and development? Ask me how.

Professional Development takeaway: Seek out training that puts you at a competitive advantage and helps you stand out. Never stop sharpening your sword and you will find yourself in the position to take on new growth opportunities. Not sure how to grow on a professional level? Ask me how.