Tag Archives: continued learning

Learning Is the Master Skill

I remember the last time our company was on the hunt to hire a new employee. Our list of attributes was lengthy – ‘You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet and fairly pretty…’ oh wait, wrong list… or was it? Regardless, our desire to hire our very own Mary Poppins was no different than most employers desire to find a person who is practically perfect in every way for a position they need to fill. No training required; just find the right person. Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of “The Truth about Leadership”, say “good luck with that.”

I was introduced to the philosophy of Kouzes and Posner by chance, happening upon a link to an excerpt from their book in a recent Dale Carnegie newsletter. The excerpt, titled “Learning Is the Master Skill”, essentially laid claim to the idea that admirable skills and talents, such as leadership, are far from preordained. In their words, the concept of raw talent is a myth.

To strengthen their position, they called upon 25 years of research conducted by K. Anders Ericsson, a noted authority on expertise. Ericsson’s research states that excellence is not rooted in talent, or reserved for the lucky few. The truth is surprisingly cliché: ‘practice makes perfect.’  As a young child who was aggressively encouraged to learn the piano when she’d rather be outside playing in her tree fort, I heard this phrase repeated to the point that it practically lost all meaning.

Yet, according to Ericsson, it is the key to success. “Until most individuals recognize that sustained training and effort is a prerequisite for reaching expert levels of performance, they will continue to misattribute lesser achievement to the lack of natural gifts, and will thus fail to reach their own potential.”

To achieve the highest level of expertise, Ericsson asserts one needs to perform about 10,000 hours of practice over a period of ten years. Kouzes and Posner point out that how you choose to learn is not relevant – be it reading instructions, hands-on experimenting, watching others, thinking critically on the subject or being coached – but the desire to learn and engagement in the process.

During our hiring process, none of the candidates we interviewed possessed all the skills we desired, because like Kouzes and Posner state, this is next to impossible. How can anyone know our systems and processes without already having worked for us? When we finally did hire a new employee, we selected the successful candidate based on their cheerful, positive disposition and their obvious desire and ability to learn. A well formulated plan on how to impart the knowledge gaps was our key to success.

When you’re looking to hire a new employee, or improve your own skill set, what systems will you have in place to ensure that the time and resources are available to ensure they, or you, have the room to succeed?

We want to hear from you! Does your workplace have training programs set in place to help prepare new recruits or improve present employees’ skill sets?

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions

Ways To Encourage Adult Learning

Melissa Peterson posted an article “Ways to Encourage Adult Learning” on Custom Guide’s website on June 5, 2012 that outlines the ways that adult learning differs from our experiences in primary and secondary school.

“For children, education is a “have to”. They have to take certain classes, learn certain subjects, and get passing grades. They have to listen to their teachers who give assignments and projects. They don’t necessarily know what they’re going to get from attending school; they just know they have to go.”

As Melissa explains, when we enter adulthood, the choice to continue our education becomes our responsibility. As we take ownership of our learning, we become more critical of our training options. If training is not perceived as relevant to helping us meet our goals or solving our problems, we will often opt out – by zoning out in class or by deciding to not signing up for training at all.

“Unfortunately, lots of times we still try to implement adult learning as we would for children. We try to make courses mandatory, and we try to give tests and get results. Then we wonder why it fails.”

This presents a unique challenge for instructors working in adult training centers. We at Sector Learning Solutions have addressed these concerns by offering our learners the opportunity to receive the knowledge they want on their terms.

We’ve shifted from a purely open enrolment classroom model to focusing on offering training can be tailored to the individual or the dedicated group’s needs. Every course’s content is also highly customizable – with the option to include an adapted curriculum that focuses on the exact topics they want to cover. We also offer the option to have the instructor use custom course materials – where tutorials are designed to be applied to a learner’s work documents instead of generic practice files.

We feel these options focus the scope of training to be results-orientated – where our instructors can provide solutions to specific problems – instead of covering information that may be redundant or not relevant.

Do you feel our new approach fits with your needs as an adult learner? Do you have other suggestions for how we can improve the way we deliver training?

We’d love to hear what you have to say.
Please share your suggestions or experiences with us today!

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Custom Software Training @
Sector Learning Solutions

Dale Carnegie Free Workshop: HR’s Influence on Engagement – June 26th, 2012

Free Workshop:
HR’s Influence on Engagement

In this two hour workshop, HR professionals will learn how they can influence engagement throughout the organization and build a plan for improvement.

June 26, 2012
at the Holiday Inn Express Metrotown
4405 Central Boulevard, Burnaby, British Columbia

Register here.

For more information,
please contact Dale Carnegie Training of BC.

TechFest 2012

What is TechFest 2012 ?

Tech Fest is a place for developers and IT Professionals to come and learn from their peers outside of work hours. Topics are always based on community interest.

Saturday April 28, 2012
8:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Register now. – $75

 Keynote Speaker : Scott Guthrie
(VP, Microsoft Developer Division)

BCIT Burnaby Campus
3700 Willingdon Ave,
Burnaby, BC
V5G 3H2
(Closest skytrain stations: Brentwood Mall or Metrotown)

Snacks, Coffee, and Lunch
FREE Wireless Internet Access

Session Topics:
Azure (Sponsored by Microsoft)
CMS (Sponsored by DotNetNuke)
Mobile (Sponsored by Microsoft)

Read a more detailed review of the session topics.

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

WordCamp Victoria 2012 This Saturday!

Hope you marked your calendar because WordCamp Victoria 2012 is this Saturday,  January 14, 2012.

Sector’s Social Media instructor Chris Burdge of bWEST Interactive will be speaking at this year’s WordCamp Victoria!

He will be discussing Leveraging Social Media to Generate Blog Community, a beginner level topic targeted to Bloggers. Catch Chris’ talk from 4 – 4:30 in Room 104.

This year, the event will be held at the University of Victoria, in the Social Sciences and Mathematics (SSM) building in rooms are SSMA 102, 104, 110 and 120. Registration will be in the lobby area.

Don’t forget to check out the “Happiness Bar” to have your WordPress queries answered by a team of experts. This year’s panel was organized by Sector’s WordPress instructor Jon Valade, who is co-hosting the Happiness Bar with his colleauge Nolan Walker from IdeaZone.caBar open from from 8:20am to 5:00pm.

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

Brian Tracy Event Update

Sector Learning Solutions posted a blog entry on October 20, 2011  about Pinnacle Event’s Brian Tracy workshop that took place in November 2011.

We wanted to share an update with you on the outcome of the event:

The Brian Tracy Event raised $1,105 for children’s cancer research!

The funds raised were given to The James Fund,
which will help many children in their battles with cancer.

Pinnacle also posted a short video about the Brian Tracy Workshop:

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

Goal Setting Mastery

“A vision without action is merely a dream. An action without vision just passes time. But, a vision with action can change the world.”
– Joel Arthur Barker

On Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Dale Carnegie will be hosting a FREE Workshop on
Goal Setting Mastery
at the Victoria Executive Centre.

This is not a typical goal setting workshop. Goal Setting Mastery by Dale Carnegie is designed with a specific focus on a proactive approach to achieving goals that are congruent with our inner motivations. You’ll learn ways to create the results you want in your personal and professional lives.

This complimentary workshop is packed with practical and time-tested processes to assist in creating the results you want in 2012.


  • Why traditional goal setting fails.
  • How to clarify, prioritize & design actions based on your highest aspirations & values.
  • How to show up powerfully in your business & lead in today’s economy.
  • How to keep focused on goals when things get “too busy”.
  • How to engage a team & get willing support

Register here and I’ll see you there!

-Kelly Marshall,
Sales and Marketing Coordinator,
Sector Learning Solutions

Brian Tracy in Victoria

Gerry and Kelly will be attending the following event:

If you want to attend too, we have tickets for you:
Contact Gerry at 250-727-2266 ext. 102 and he’ll hook you up!

The DCT Sales Advantage

 70% of sales forces report a minimum 20% increase in sales using the Dale Carnegie process.

Sector Learning Solutions employee, Kelly Marshall is one of the 70%.
In September 2010, she took the Sales Advantage: How To Sell Like A Pro course. The Dale Carnegie team is offering another session on October 26, 27, and 28, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Express Metrotown, Burnaby.

More info available at: