Benefits of Training – Who has inspired you?

Every time I watch my team Arsenal on the television I get hugely frustrated by the number of corners and free kicks which routinely get wasted. Most of the corners end up on the heads of opposition players and many free kicks end up in the stands behind the goal. I can often be heard to exclaim ‘What do they do in training all week?”.
This got me thinking about all of the training courses I have been on in my career and just how much of what I have learnt have I managed to put in practice. It is, of course, hard to remember it all and perhaps this is the point, it is only those things which have been truly inspirational that you tend to remember.
Thus, for me the most inspirational training I have had has been as follows:
1. A course on managing people effectively – this was run by Cranfield Business School and I attended in the term before I became Head five years ago. There was much about this which was inspirational but above all the mantra was that if you were to be an effective manager of people you had to look after yourself first. They persuaded us all to commit to doing this, my commitment was to exercise more and since I attended that course I have gone run almost every weekend in order to deliver on that commitment. That is powerful, long lasting training. If only Arsenal could get every corner to land at the feet of one of their own players!
2. Marketing training – Before I became Headmaster I was responsible for marketing in the school. As part of this I undertook a marketing diploma course run by AMDIS who provide training for school’s marketing people. I learnt so much here – key though was the focus on making sure that you deliver what you promise to deliver. Schools rely so much on word of mouth recommendation from current parents so having a glossy prospectus is never enough, you have to give people examples to talk about, you have to walk the talk. Each time I write a speech as a Head, and there are always many to write, I think about what are the key messages I want to communicate and how do these fit in with our aims as a school. Embedding good marketing practices into the heart of my work as a Head has always proved useful but having integrity and believing in what you are trying to communicate is just so very important.
3. Football training – In my previous school I used to run the football training. Much of what I have learnt about working in schools and managing people was developed through working with boys in this field. The combination of sheer hard work and inspiration it involved to produce good teams also lies at the heart of school leadership. The pleasure gained in a victory against the odds reflects the pride that as a Head I feel in so many of the school’s achievements. All organisations depend on the wider team and this was true both of my football team in the past and now again in terms of running a school.
4. Blogging and Twitter training – This was much more recent. I expressed an interest in getting involved in both twitter and blog writing to our Head of IT, Kerry Turner, and our Head of Languages, Jose Picardo. They kindly gave up some time to get me going and to set me up with the necessary platforms. This too was inspirational and the fact that I am still going with this shows the long-lasting impact it made. As with all good training it has made a lasting impact.
Thus, I pose the question to all those who read this as to what training has truly inspired you? Why has it had lasting impact? If you are someone involved in training how can you ensure that this impact is lasting? It is perhaps something all who work in schools should ask about every lesson, after all our major role is to inspire the young who we teach.