Amy Franko drives results for organizations by elevating their most important asset—their people.

Amy Franko's firm, Impact Instruction Group, works with Fortune 1000 and middle market companies to deliver strategic programs for leadership development, custom learning, and sales team development. Known for her dynamic and engaging style, Franko is a sought-after keynote speaker on the topic of leadership development.

What made you interested in talent development?

For as long as I can remember, I have loved learning about and trying new things. It's an innate strength. I see the love of learning as a natural bridge to talent development. So taking that quality and channeling it into my career made sense.

How did Impact Instruction Group come to be?

As I reflect back, I think I knew even at a young age that I would follow a leadership and entrepreneurial path. I knew I would start something or lead something. That continued as an adult.

I built a successful sales career, which allowed me to be both entrepreneurial and build my leadership skills. It also helped me to say "yes" when presented with an opportunity to embark on a new path as an entrepreneur in the field of learning. I jumped at the chance to take the journey. I didn't want to look back and say, "I wish I would have…" That start evolved into Impact Instruction Group. Running a business allows me to combine my love of sales and business development with learning and development.

How did your experiences shape the person you are today?

My first role out of college introduced me to sales and business development. That experience shaped my career path. Building a successful sales career ultimately empowered me to become an entrepreneur. The abilities to forge strong relationships, develop new business, and take smart risks are core skills that have transferred throughout my career.

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On a personal front, I grew up in a large family with four younger sisters. The positive dynamic in our family empowered me to step up into a leadership role, and also emphasized the importance of being a self-leader. I firmly believe that before we can lead anyone else, we each must be a strong leader of ourselves.

How has the industry changed since you started in it?

The option to learn anywhere and at any time has grown exponentially. Access via technology to all types of learning abounds, and with that access comes great opportunity to take ownership of our own learning and development—to chart our paths of what we want to learn and how we want to develop as individuals and professionals.

Also, as professionals we must take ownership of our own learning and leadership path. It's no longer a straight, upward path, like a ladder. Rather, think of our career paths today as a jungle gym. We can gain skills as we move across.

What advice would you give to those just starting out?

First, spend your time understanding the business and speaking the language of it. This knowledge will not only serve you well, but also will elevate the profession as a whole as we work to ensure talent development is seen as integral to achieving business goals.

Second, learn as much as you can about different aspects of the talent development profession. Regardless of your point of entry, build your network and broaden your experience so you can grow as a person and as a professional.