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  • Tuesday, April 26, 2016 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Maine ATD and Our Mission

    At its core, the Maine Chapter of the Association for Talent Development promotes work-related learning. This is the second in a series of profiles featuring leaders who, acting out of their core values, make positive professional change happen.

    - Bill Maxwell


    Brief Bio

    Peggy Page’s professional title is Learning Design and Delivery Manager at Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. She manages the design and delivery of employee training. Currently, her team’s focus “is on rolling out a comprehensive suite of management development programs.” Prior to this position, Peggy served as L&D Manager Program Evaluation and Measurement at TD Bank. Earlier at TD Bank, she managed a team of talented instructional designers. Her team built classroom, virtual classroom and online learning opportunities for employees in all roles. Before moving to Maine, she worked in California as a Call Center Manager in Global Customer Service for Applied Materials. Peggy is also a past President of Maine ATD.


    A Brief Conversation

    In the days when California condors were on the brink of extinction, Peggy Page “almost drove off the Pacific Coast Highway” after spotting one flying high above the cliffs. Birds are a passion, as is living the life of an authentic leader. And birds, in no small way, also led her to Maine.

    “Birds, yes.”

    Our talk is in a coffee shop, and hers is the most engaged, expressive voice in the room.

    “I have been a manager all my career. In 2001, even though I loved my work, I was growing tired of California. My family was back east, so I decided it was time – and Maine had a lot of birds I hadn’t seen, so this is what I picked.”

    Well then, I thought, that’s trusting the universe. She shared that she had gotten a financial package from Applied Materials, the California corporation she had left. I asked about how she had found work here in Maine.

    “I saw a notice about a Maine ASTD meeting and showed up. Really. Sounds like I’m making it up, but I’m not.”

    At the meeting, she sat with Susan Butler who matched her up with a master’s program at USM. She also met Carol McCoy, a “job coach.” Carol suggested that Peggy look through Monster.com and find positions that looked interesting to her – and not to worry about qualifications.  Peggy found a listing that was for a manager position at Banknorth (later TD Bank).

    Carol: “You’re qualified for this position right now.”

    Peggy: “Really?”

    Carol: “Yes, and I know the hiring manager.”

    Peggy: “Really?”

    Little wonder that Peggy believes in serendipity and being open to possibilities. She worked at the bank for over 13 years. In part, her love of birds had led to a professional adventure in Maine.

    I asked about some experiences that have helped shape her as a leader. She talked about a time she was hired to turn around an organization where the local manager in a corporation had hired friends and family. In order to be successful, she had to coach them to get better or manage them out of the company. Not an easy task, ever. The people she had to let go were out of synch with what their jobs were all about. Peggy took the time to help them understand that their lives would be better in other positions better matching their strengths.

    Peggy, as a teacher and a coach, believes in having real conversations.

    “Stop thinking you’re going to fix people and focus instead on finding strengths to build on. Marcus Buckingham [author of Now, Discover Your Strengths] is like my god. You’re doing them a favor if you manage out those who are miserable at work because of a bad fit. You simply can’t motivate without having real conversations.”

    I asked her to elaborate.                 

    “In the leadership learning program we are doing at Goodwill, we talk about who you are and what you do.  Who you are as a person is inseparable to what you do as a manager. I like analogies so I bring in pennies to illustrate this. One side of the coin is who you are, and the other side is what you do.”

    “OK, I said. “Let’s open it up then to who you are and what you do. I’m going to ask for experiences and ideas. Tell me about tipping points. Any aha moments for you?”

    “When I was managing the call center, I thought I was a smart person. I was great at processes and measurement and all that. Productivity. There was no talk of EI back in those days. Being smart, I used to think that the way was my way. Until I got a 360 feedback on my performance. Found out that I wasn’t a good people manager.”

    “Painful?”

    “Yes. So I had a co-manager friend I adored as a person but didn’t respect because I thought she was a pushover. She was a textbook F and I was a textbook T. I asked for her help, and we became best friends. She gave me a gift. The gift was the chance to turn things around.”

    What impressed me is that Peggy asked for help. I thought about many people in positions of power who can’t bring themselves to do that.

    “I learned that the manager’s number one responsibility is to develop people. You’re good if your people are good. There’s a big divide if you think the success is because of you. Hopefully a lightbulb will go off.”

    “Like it did for you.”

    “Like it did for me.”

    I asked her about how her current position at Goodwill came to be. Her professional life continues to be a bit unanticipated.

    “Melissa Suey called and asked me if I would consider taking the position. I said yes.”

    “Tell me about what makes things great there.”

    “I love the job. New purpose and motivation. Like Dan Pink says, most of us want to have autonomy, mastery and purpose in our work. The purpose at Goodwill is built in. One challenge is to educate people, employees included, that Goodwill is far more than a used clothing place. We assist people in neuro-rehab, residences for people with mental disabilities.”

    As she speaks about Goodwill, Peggy becomes more animated. She loves that Goodwill’s goal is about creating sustainable communities, with a goal of moving 10,000 households into stability in the next ten years. She talks about new opportunities for redesigning employee learning. Recently, her team created a new employee orientation based on telling the stories of ten employees. The stories are posted to their intranet and give people a deeper understanding of what Goodwill in the real world of felt experiences.

    I asked about suggestions she might have for leaders.

    “Be open - the stumble can really open up the new opportunity. And get people excited about their professional learning. You can read all the books, but being who you are keys leadership. Also, Will Callendar at USM gave me some great advice: live the question. The question helps move you forward. There are always new questions. We don’t live in a static world. As I said, be real in your conversations.”

    I asked for an example.

    “Well, for instance, ask someone What keeps you here at Goodwill? or What would make you leave Goodwill? The answers you get will help you understand what motivates people on your team. People say, ‘But what if they tell me it’s the money?’ and I say, well, then you know. And it might be OK that it’s the money. You don’t know the background story. The process helps you understand the motivations and then you can appeal to those as you manage the team. Have some courage.”

    Peggy credits fellow MATD member Fran Liautaud with helping her with how to ask questions well. One good question to develop a person’s thinking is to ask, “What evidence do you have for that?”

    Authenticity is a theme that comes up again and again when you talk with Peggy. She makes the analogy that as a liar struggles remembering his or her lies so a manager struggles speaking prescribed lines that they have been told are the right ones to use. And Peggy has no use for those memorized simple messages sometimes used to put people in the wrong box.

    “There is no I in team? Of course there is an I – and more than one. Individuals make up the team. They don’t put the pitcher in left field, do they?”

    I asked for some final thoughts aimed at younger leaders.

    “Get connected then people will think of you when there’s an opening. It’s why MATD is so important. Being open and visible is better than just being on one track. If you work on things you feel passionate about, without realizing it at a conscious level, you make the right decisions. There’s no one right answer.”

    OK, there may indeed be no one right answer; however, Peggy Page has found one unique path to leadership. It’s a journey we can also take in our own unique stories. If you follow what brings you joy in your work, you put yourself on a track that has been there all the time, waiting for you. The professional life you ought to be living is then the one you are living. You begin to meet helpers who feel that authenticity at a deep level, and doors can open in unexpected ways.

    Following birds is optional. 


  • Monday, March 14, 2016 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Don’t forget to sign up THIS WEEK for the April 1 ATD New England Area Conference sponsored by Kineo and save $50! The Advanced Registration rate ends March 20th for “Charting the Future of Learning”, this year’s 6th Annual ATD New England conference, conveniently located at the Radisson Conference Center in Chelmsford, MA. If you can only attend one conference this year, don’t miss this one.

    Experience our Opening CLO Keynote Panel, over 20 leading-edge Concurrent Sessions, and our Business Improv Closing Keynote – all focused on sharing new, innovative approaches to learning & development. This dynamic conference offers a full day of professional development and networking. Each registration also includes free entry to our popular jazz networking social event on Thursday evening, March 31. This year, our Sponsor Gallery and Exhibitor Hall is bigger than ever, offering you exposure to some of the finest learning & development products and services. 

    On Monday, March 21, pricing goes up $50 – don’t forget to sign up today for the conference attendees have rated the “best learning & development conference in New England”.

    Tickets: http://www.atdnewengland.com/registration.html

    Conference Website: www.atdnewengland.com

  • Friday, February 05, 2016 3:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Writing with Clarity

    Ken O'Quinn is a corporate writing coach and the principal of Writing With Clarity. A former Associated Press writer, he now teaches internal classes on professional business writing for such clients as Facebook, GE, Chevron, Visa, Unum, L.L. Bean, Reebok, and Dunkin' Brands.  Ken will be at our February 16th event if you would like to learn more about his services. 

    Sign Up for Ken’s Monthly Writing Tip: www.writingwithclarity.com/sign-up-now   
    Phone:  207‑767‑0112
    Email:  Ken@WritingWithClarity.com


  • Monday, January 11, 2016 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Maine ATD and Our Mission

    At its core, the Maine Chapter of the Association for Talent Development promotes work-related learning. This is the first in a series of profiles featuring leaders who, acting out of their core values, make positive professional change happen.

    - Bill Maxwell


    We thought, “Why not start with our President”? Despite Sally’s protests (and her suggested list of more worthy MATD members), we eventually agreed on having a brief conversation. But before we get to that, let’s review some of the facts.


    Brief Bio

    Sally Wilson is the Learning & Development Manager and Innovation Team Leader at Androscoggin Bank. She is also in a Board advisory role for Literacy Volunteer Androscoggin. She is an instructor with Northern New England for Financial Training Center, a non-profit organization. Her business experience includes a career at LL Bean as an Operational Manager, Project Manager and Corporate Senior Learning Specialist.


    A Brief Conversation

    Sally started on the board at Maine ATD after she responded to a flyer advertising a volunteer opportunity.

    “I saw the flyer asking for someone for helping out with finance.  I knew some of the people on the Board, and I wanted to get involved – so I volunteered.”

    In her finance role, Sally accomplished an operating budget and developed a close working relationship with the board – a board she calls “welcoming.” Two of the people she worked with became mentors, Peggy Page and Katie Vaillancourt. Peggy was the President at the time Sally first volunteered, and Katie became President later on.

    I asked her about the most satisfying part of being Maine ATD President.

    “It’s very rewarding getting work done through volunteers. It requires different strategies compared to working with organizations with employees. Motivation is different. The Maine ATD board is a team of people who have diverse reasons for doing the work. Success comes when you are genuine, and you treat people with respect. The people on the board embrace that thinking; there’s no need to pretend you’re something you’re not.”

    Mostly, Sally says, “It’s the people on the board who make it rewarding.” Sally agrees with Jim Collins’s line: “Great vision without great people is irrelevant…” She suggests that “People need to associate authentically. It’s all about finding the truths that feel right to you and living out those truths the best you can.”

    Sally believes one of those truths involves taking care of yourself in order to be of more help to others. She knows firsthand the difficulties of balancing time as you navigate a professional life. Along these lines, I asked her to respond to a Brené Brown quotation.

    “Crazy-busy is a great armor, it's a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we're feeling and what we really need can't catch up with us.”

    Sally’s reaction was honest and quick.

    “I completely lost my balance one time in my work life. I kept saying ‘yes’ – and I really don’t know the reason why I kept accepting responsibilities. I’m not sure what I thought I had to prove. I know though that getting through this loss of balance made me stronger. After that I became more focused – with a purpose. I don’t want to repeat that experience. Of course I still can have tough times, but I really learned from the episode. I have compassion as a leader in part because of my going through all of that.”

    Quoting Brown again: “Showing some vulnerability makes you a stronger leader.” I am thinking she would applaud Sally’s story, a story emphasizing authenticity and collaboration rather than command and control. Sally believes that talent development depends on “a time for reflection with colleagues.”  She also believes that “Leadership involves creating an environment where you take time for learning moments.”

    I asked her if she had ever experienced this sort of learning environment. Her first thought was of a manager who supervised her at LL Bean.

    “She was open to different ways of thinking,” Sally said. “When we had one to ones, it was a safe place. She listened – and I remember her asking one question at every meeting: What have you learned since we last met?”

    Sally’s manager always had the time to listen and to give appropriate feedback. “One of her strengths was her self-awareness. And her inquisitive listening was at the right level, not too much and not too little. Comfortable, but focused on the job at hand.”

    Sally, it seems to us, mirrors those same traits in her role as Maine ATD President:collaborative, authentic, outcome focused. Sally believes “Each leadership story is unique.” To this we say true enough. As evidence, we offer up what can happen after you respond to a Maine ATD flyer.

  • Friday, August 14, 2015 8:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I want to thank all Chapter Members who participated in our annual Board election. I am very pleased to announce the voting results for our ATD Maine Chapter Board positions. Please join me in welcoming our new and renewing Board members. It is their commitment and leadership skills that ensures our Chapter remains sustainable and our mission continues.

    Tricia Richardson, President Elect

    Michelle Winn, VP of Finance

    Stephanie Horr, VP of Operations

    William (Bill) Maxwell, VP of Special Projects


    I want to recognize both Kristin Wheelock, past VP of Operations and Libby DeMille, past VP of Programs for their contributions, dedication, and their work in the role of Chapter Board members.

    Kristin Wheelock did a fabulous job in setting up our Board meetings with meaningful agendas, scribing at our meetings capturing our discussions and our decisions. Since her role as VP of Operations, Kristin has taken our resource table to a higher level - researching relevant articles to have available based on the monthly learning event, contacting National ATD for materials and resource listings for our Chapter members. 

    Libby DeMille has been an active Program Committee volunteer who took the leadership role of VP of Programs for the past year. She has worked steadily with her committee volunteers to find and offer a variety of speakers and learning event topics that has delighted us all. She read and shared the event evaluations and used the feedback to ensure the learning programs offered met our Chapter members’ expectations.

    I personally want to thank you both for stepping up to help lead our Chapter! 

    Best regards,

    Sally A. Wilson, President

  • Tuesday, April 21, 2015 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We had a great time at the New England Area Conference, and now you can see some of the fun in our new online photo gallery. Just follow the link, or check it out under the "About Us" section above.

  • Friday, March 20, 2015 3:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you want to see the Appreciative Inquiry questions that each table came up with during our March meeting? Check them out in our Resources section!

    Make sure you're logged in as a member to check them out! Go to Resources

  • Thursday, March 19, 2015 10:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You've heard us talking at our meetings about volunteering, but did you see our helpful Become A Volunteer brochure at the Resource Table? Download a copy for yourself!

  • Thursday, March 12, 2015 3:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our virtual resource table has been updated with links about Appreciative Inquiry, including:

    • What is Appreciative Inquiry
    • Positive Questions and Interview Guides Detail – Appreciative Inquiry Commons
    • Appreciative inquiry – Solving Problems by Looking at What’s Going Right
    • Coaching for Improved Performance
    • Seven Steps to coaching Your Employees to Success

    Make sure you're logged in as a member to check them out!  - Go to Resources

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