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Learning Methods
Classroom
A traditional classroom couples on-site learning with the added value of face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers. With courses and exams scheduled worldwide, you will be sure to find a class near you.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via face-to-face
Components (May Include)
Onsite
On-site instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available two weeks prior to the course start date; printed course materials ship directly to the event location
Duration
One + Days
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple days
Technical Needs
Specific requirements are clearly noted on the course page
Virtual Classroom
Ideal for those who appreciate live education instruction, but looking to save on travel. A virtual classroom affords you many of the same learning benefits as traditional–all from the convenience of your office.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire virtual classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via online environment
Components (May Include)
Live online instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available up to one week prior to the course start date. Recorded playback and supplemental materials available up to seven days after the live event.
Duration
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple sessions
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Phone line access
E-Learning
A self-paced, online learning experience that allows you to study any time of day. Course material is pre-recorded by an instructor and you have the flexibility to view content modules as desired.
Interaction
Independent Learning
Components (May Include)
Pre-Recorded
Pre-recorded course modules
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, online quizzes
E-course materials start on the day of purchase
Optional purchased print material ships within 7 business days
Duration
120 Days - Anytime
120-day access starts on the day of purchase
Direct access to all components
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
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NSFW: A HUMOROUS LOOK |

Having Fun Yet? No? Good.

In our maiden “Work in Progress” podcast, John Zissimos, Google’s vice president, said that the most important advance in his evolution as a leader was realizing the importance of empathy. While I agree that it’s a cornerstone trait for anyone wanting to be considered a good human being, what makes you a good person can make you a terrible boss.

Empathy means being attuned to another’s pain or well-being. It’s something you want in a friend, a significant other and an emergency medical technician — but in a managerial context, it can lead to a happy and adoring staff, which is not as wonderful as it sounds. I don’t know about you, but I do my best work when I have an edge, I have something to prove, or I’m simply pissed off. When I sit down to write these columns, it’s usually to get something off my chest. When I play tennis, I go from intensity to rage to anxiety, and occasionally to panic and self-pity when my forehand is misfiring. I’m happy when I’ve completed a column and feel it turned out well or beat my opponent senseless and left him wondering why he ever got out of bed that morning. Happiness is a fine goal, but it’s not a very productive operating system.

I was reading an interesting book by an evolutionary psychologist who made the point that we’re not wired to be happy. All it takes is an unguarded moment of bliss and you’re someone’s meal — not good if you’re looking to procreate or keep yourself on the payroll into next month. If I’m a CEO or manager, and I want employees who are driven to excel, do I really want them happy and content?

Now, I’m not advocating the “Glengarry Glen Ross” approach: “You see this watch? You see this watch? That watch cost more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see, pal, that’s who I am. And you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? F@#$ you, go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here? Close.”

I’d sooner work on an assembly line performing colonoscopies all day long than work for that guy, but surely there’s a middle ground between that and a blissed out environment where everyone shows up and leaves happy, with nothing much to show but the musty residue of warm feelings.

A top sales consultant I knew shared several motivational tricks he used, allegedly to great effect, with his sales team. On a coffee table in his office, he spread the latest magazines catering to luxe lifestyles rife with eye-popping, near pornographic pictures of expensive baubles and boats, lakeside mansions and seaside resorts, with an assortment of exotic accoutrements out of the James Bond playbook. The idea was to make sure their appetites always outpaced their earnings, but just by a little. They worked hard for their bonus check and were delighted when it came, but feelings of happiness fled the moment the next object of desire beckoned from those glossy pages.

Empathy is a fine and admirable thing, as the lack of it is what defines a sociopath. And unless you are a sociopath, few would argue that sociopathic bosses get you to do your best work. That said, there is something to Orson Welles’ famous speech in the classic film "The Third Man":

“In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace — and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

As Lucrezia Borgia would have said had reality TV arrived 500 years earlier, “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win.”

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D9-Authors-EpsteinCharles Epstein is president and founder of BackBone Inc. He can be reached at che@backboneinc.com. Follow him on Twitter @BackBoneInc.