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Welcome to the July, 2006 issue of Fresh Milk.

Please let us know how we can be of service to you and your organization.

Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden
Contented Cow Partners
+1-904-720-0870 from outside North America

By Richard Hadden
July 2006

On May 6, 2006, 5-foot-4 Officer Julie Welch, of the Holly Springs, Georgia police force, stopped a driver for failure of the driver and her passenger to wear their seatbelts. When the 6-foot-11 passenger got out of the car, it became apparent to Officer Welch, and to the dashboard video camera trained on the scene, that this would be no ordinary traffic stop.

The passenger's behavior gave the officer subtle clues that he might have something to hide. Like a container of a mind-altering white powder he had stuffed into his pocket before he emerged (and emerged, and emerged) from the vehicle.

While Officer Welch tried to fit the suspect with a pair of handcuffs, he wriggled away, knocking both of them to the ground. Then he got up, and, unfortunately for him, ran into a nearby briar patch.

He was barefooted.

A bystander, Steve Walker, observed the struggle and flight, and ran to the officer's assistance. The two of them apprehended the suspect, and he was charged with various offences that we'll just say won't look good during his next job interview.

A few weeks later, the story (leading with the height differential hook), and Officer Welch, were featured on NBC's Today Show. The obvious line of questioning centered around what enabled Julie Welch to perform successfully in this situation. Specifically, how did she know to stop this particular seatbelt offender, to ask him to get out of the car, and how did she manage against a man nineteen inches taller than she?

"The training kicked in," was her first reply. Anchors Matt Lauer and Ann Curry seemed to want something juicier than that for their early morning audience, and so they pressed the point. Welch kept saying, "Training." She even apologized for not having a sexier answer.

It would hardly be a revelation to assert here that training helps people do their jobs better. Good training, well-applied, appropriately focused, that is. And if the interview had stopped there, we would hardly have noticed.

But then, Ann Curry asked a question that caught our attention. "What made you not hold back?"

"We have an excellent training division," said Officer Welch, who handled the interview better than, say, the average media-coached U.S. Senator subjected to similar grilling. "Our training officer brings us the best training she can find."

Thank you, Officer Welch, for helping us make a point. It's not just that people who are better trained know better how to do the job. That's a big duh. The point is that professionals, who are confident in their competence, are able to let forth with a boundless supply of energy, attention, and focus.

Conversely, people who doubt their own ability to do a job particularly well can't help but, as Ann Curry put it, hold back.

We also talked to Officer Welch, unconstrained by a producer with a three minute limit to a morning news segment. She articulated for us some great lessons about the contribution of training to "not holding back."

"We're trained to recognize clues without consciously thinking about it," Officer Welch told us. The avoidance of eye-contact, and the heavily pulsating carotid artery on the man's neck suggested to Officer Welch that the seatbelt thing might have been the least of his infractions.

"Either that's from training," Welch told us, "or the fact that I'm a mom."

"Our training also makes it easier for us to act with confidence, because we know what we can and cannot do with a suspect." She knew that she would be well within her rights to conduct a "Terry frisk" on the suspect (named, as she told us, for the 1963 Supreme Court case Terry vs. Ohio), in order to protect herself should the suspect be carrying a weapon. Had she not done the Terry frisk, she would have missed the three cocaine pipes in his pocket.

And Officer Welch reminded us of something else about training.

When it comes to training, the size of your organization doesn't matter. "We're a small police force," said Welch, "but we're part of a larger county, Cherokee County [northeast of Atlanta]. We participate in multi-agency training with the other municipalities in our county, and that allows us to have access to training just as good as any large local government."

Some of the best-trained professionals in any field work for small organizations that take advantage of creative opportunities to train their people. If yours is not a mega-corporation with lots of training bucks (or even if it is), here are a few good places you might look to help train and educate your workforce.

Professional and trade associations. Nearly every organization we can think of belongs to (or could belong to) a professional association. There are associations for bankers, welders, social workers, auto parts suppliers, almost every conceivable profession. And nearly all of them provide training for their members.

South Dade Lighting employs 37 people in its lighting showroom in Miami, Florida. Few organizations with a workforce this size employ an entire training department, "but that doesn't stop us from providing excellent training to our people," says Operations Manager Kathy Held.

The American Lighting Association (, of which Held's company is a member, offers special certifications, self-study courses, regional seminars across North America, and online training courses for its members, most of which are small to medium-sized businesses.

Manufacturers and Suppliers. South Dade Lighting holds weekly staff meetings. So do you, but do yours help people learn to do their jobs better? At South Dade they do. "Our meetings almost always include some kind of training, whether from me, or someone else," said Held. "Use your suppliers," she added. "Don't let their salespeople just sell to you. Let them train your people on how to use their products.

"We compete against other independent lighting stores, as well as the big box retailers. Our advantage over all our competitors is knowledge. Our people really know their business."

Industry-Specific Cooperative Training. Cloch Housing Association, in Greenock, Scotland is one of hundreds of not-for-profit public housing providers in Britain. Staff training would be infinitely more difficult, and costly, for this small organization but for its membership in SHARE, a Glasgow-based training cooperative (, that offers training on a wide variety of subjects, but all designed to meet the needs of Scottish housing associations.

Employer Associations. The not-for-profit Associated Employers, in Moline, Illinois ( is a great example of a multi-service employer association. In addition to business counseling, surveys, and research, AE (a division of Waukesha, Wisconsin-based MRA []) offers extensive training in management, communication, employee relations, and other topics to employers of all sizes, throughout Iowa and Western Illinois. "The advantage of an employer association," according to AE's Executive Director, Linda Rubey, "is our ability to provide really high quality training, with seasoned, experienced instructors, to employers who might be too small to have a fulltime training staff in-house."

Officer Julie Welch didn't let the supersized culprit keep her from getting the job done. Don't let size (or any of the many other available excuses) deter you from having the best-trained, most fired-up, and most capably led workforce among your circle of competitors.

Leadership...the Workplace...Creating a Great Place to Work...Getting Discretionary Effort from Your Workforce. Every week, we speak to corporate and association audiences about these topics, at conferences, conventions, and management meetings.

Why not yours?

To find out more about bringing in one or both of the authors to speak for your meeting, click on the "Find Out More" link below. OR, pick up the phone, and call our office at 800-940-7006 (that's 904-720- 0870 from outside North America). Or, send us an email and let us know how we can be of service. We look forward to hearing from you.

With more than 30 years' combined experience developing, deploying, and relying on employee survey data, we have the expertise to ensure that your survey process works as it should – each time, every time. In addition to professional survey process management, we’ll provide you the ability to benchmark your scores to some of America’s best workplaces.

As you know, we're always on the lookout for what "works" in today's business environment. We've found a good one, and we want to let you know about it.

We're "Netters" - not nutters - but Netters. What's that?, you ask. A friend of ours, Steve Browne, in Cincinnati, Ohio is making the world of Human Resources a little more creative. He manages a free HR message board called the HR Net where anyone can post questions to a bulletin board, and you go to the site to respond. It's not a listserv, but a bulletin board - you go there when you want to.

Here's a tiny sampling of the kind of questions, posted by other Netters, that you can find answers to: "How do companies handle 'working spousal coverage' under the group health benefits?", or "Looking for insight on hiring someone in Australia from a US based firm. Would like to know the labor regulations involved."

You get one e-mail per week from Steve and he never gives out your information to anyone. The HR Net currently has over 2,900 people on it from around the U.S.

But here's how the HR Net is really different. You see, Steve is what we would call an HR realist. He is striving to put the " Human " factor back into the HR profession. So, each week he writes a song parody about the offbeat world of HR. You'll find yourself singing the songs and remembering that HR really is fun and a vital part of today's business world.

We'd recommend you get connected to the HR Net. To do this, just e-mail Steve directly at Make sure to let him know that you heard about his service from the Fresh Milk newsletter.

Contented Cows Give Better Milk makes the business case for creating an exceptional workplace. Available directly from the authors, both in paperback and audio book on CD, for less than you'll pay in most bookstores. Signed copies available at no additional cost. Visit the Contented Cows Online Store.

If you'd like to take us up on this offer, please contact us.
Here we come again, hat in hand, asking for our readers' input on our book about Discretionary Effort. Yes, we're still working on the book. This is not one of those airy volumes written over a boring weekend. We're doing actual research, and research takes time.

But you can help.

We are looking for three specific things, right now.
1. Examples of what we call "authentic leadership". Tell us about a leader - someone you work for now, or have worked for in the past - who shows, by their actions and interactions - that they put their pants (skirt, dress, slacks, kilt, whatever) on just like the rest of us. Someone who consistenly fails to be impressed with his or her position, and who, because of their authenticity, inspires others to go above and beyond in the their work.

2. "Extra Milers". We're looking for examples of people you work with, or have worked with, who routinely go "the extra mile" at work (please, no self- nominations). They do more than they have to, without complaining. We'd like to hear specific examples that would show our readers what Discretionary Effort is all about. Whether their effort be heroic, or more everyday, we'd like to highlight and profile some of the real people you know who often go "the extra mile".

3. This one is more specific. We're looking for one example of someone - it may be you - who feels that their work is their "calling". We're looking for people who are not in healthcare, a faith- based ministry (clergy, or related professions), or social services, because we already have some great examples from those areas. We'd really like an example from the for-profit world of commerce. If you would say that your work is your "calling", and because of that, you give more to your work than you are required to, we'd like to hear from you.

If you can help, please email us at, and just use the word "Story" as the subject.

In the email, please give us just a quick synopsis of the example you'd like to share, and a way to contact you.

We may not be able to use your story, but we will acknowledge every email we get, and we thank you in advance for your willingness to help make this book a great tool for leaders everywhere who want to inspire more Discretionary Effort from their followers.

Check our speaking calendar to see if we may be in your neck of the woods between now and the end of the year. If so, you can receive a 20% discount on our fee, plus save on travel expenses if you book one of us to speak for your group the day before or after an existing engagement in the same area (schedule permitting).

If you'd like to take us up on this offer, please contact us.

Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette
Contented Cow Partners, LLC

phone: 904-720-0870
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