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April 2013
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TD Magazine

One to Watch: Nandi Shareef

OnetoWatch
Title Global Training Manager

Company The Landings Club on Skidaway Island, Savannah, Georgia

Education PhD student in organization development, Benedictine University; MBA, Hampton University; bachelor's degree in business administration, Hampton University

Twitter @NandiShareef

Blog http://bit.ly/11PGvIp (coming soon: www.nandishareef.com)

Employed by one of the largest residential clubs in the United States, Shareef is charged with the design and implementation of a global training plan for more than 400 employees, with the end goal of establishing a regional service training academy.

Previously, she served as the youngest director of a national learning center franchise where she sustained a half-million-dollar business in the throes of an economic recession.

What excites you about the profession?

Our business is people, whether we're talking about the finance manager, the CFO, or the marketing director. I love the fact that the learning and development field really gets it. If there are no people to support the operations of the business, there would be no revenue, no P&L, no marketing, no anything.

And so the fact that in learning and development, we focus on our human capital, and the goal is to develop them to be the best that they can possibly be, we're already light years ahead of the rest of the curve when it comes to business.

I'm excited about being a part of that new generation of folks who are picking up the torch and saying, "Yes, we will have a seat at the proverbial table."

3 Qualities for Success

1. My ambition and my unwillingness to take no for an answer.

2. My thirst for knowledge.

3. My resilience—because for as many times as I have been successful, I have also failed.

Biggest Achievement

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The senior executives of my company ... [said that] if we do one thing this year that's going to make a measurable difference, a measurable impact on the experience that our customers feel and, ultimately, the engagement of our employees ... that one thing was skill-based training and certification. And as the global training manager for the company, I am quarterbacking the initiative. That was a huge accomplishment.

Advice for New Trainers

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Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty because at the end of the day, that's all people really care about. And one thing I learned in this field is that no one really cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

This field is not about you. It's about the other employees in the company that we need to help feel accomplished so that they can be retained and have a good working experience.

In Her Twitter Timeline

Mark Cuban (@mcuban). He's a self-made billionaire, and I take a lot of the information that he gives out to heart.

Tony Gaskins (@TonyGaskins). He's on the speaking circuit. He's fairly new, but he's done some really amazing things in his career.

Simon T. Bailey (@SimonTBailey). He wrote a book called Release Your Brilliance that transformed my life in 2011 and really propelled me to singularly focus on the field of learning and development.

Latest App Download

Boca app (www.getboca.com). The focus is to help people turn visual and voice into attractive, engaging videos. This is relevant to us in our field because you can take your iPhone, take pictures or shoot a video, and then record your voice over the video. Instantly, you can upload that on any form of social media or to an email.

It could be a how-to video, or it could be you going through standards of performance. This is a nice handheld tool that you can use to create new media presentations, all from your iPhone or iPad.

Staying Current in the Field

In addition to the ASTD website, there is a website out of the United Kingdom called TrainingZone that I also use to stay current.

And then, as a PhD student in organization development, I have quite a few classmates who are also in the field who are executives either at their own firms or with other companies. So, I spend a lot of time talking with them about what’s new, what’s fresh, and what’s happening.

I’m also by trade an MBA as well, and so, to see the business side of me or the harder skills, I spend a lot of time in Harvard Business Review, and other journals like the Academy of Management Journal Review, Academy of Management Review, and Academy of Management Perspectives.

Favorite Quote

"Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about." —Regina Brett

About the Author
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.
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