Welcome to our Spotlight Series featuring interviews with instructors, trainers and staff members of Dale Carnegie Training of North Dakota.
For the month of May, we interviewed Tamara Anderson, who received her start in the Dale Carnegie world as a graduate and eventually became a franchise owner of Dale Carnegie North Dakota.
How long have you been with Dale Carnegie Training?
I’ve been with Dale Carnegie since September of 2003. I’m one of the franchise owners and I do facilitation, support client relationships, daily operations, support our sales team, and really stay involved in all facets of the business.
In 2000, I took a Dale Carnegie course when I worked for another company and I loved the experience; it was so much fun! I remember thinking about our facilitator, worked at Microsoft and did Dale Carnegie on the side, and wondered, “How do you get to do this?” and, “Do people do this full-time or can people only be involved on the side?” A year later, I got a call from Tonya Stende, who is now my business partner. She was inviting past grads to a sales preview, and part of my role at the time was sales, so I went to that preview session.
Tonya was discussing Eide Bailly buying the franchise in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota, and I introduced myself and shared that I was a grad, about my current job, and that I would be interested if she was looking to hire. Over the course of the next year, and once the Eide Bailly purchase was final, I was hired as a salesperson. From here I was trained to be a facilitator. In 2006, we became partners with Eide Bailly, and in 2012, we bought the franchise.
What industry do you work with the most?
I work with manufacturing, technology, and professional services as my three key areas. With professional services, such as Accountants and Engineers, one way we support them is the aspect of their business where they have to go out and be sales people. A lot of them don’t anticipate that role going into that kind of position, so we help them learn how to build better client relationships, deepen those relationships, learn to be a more trusted advisor, and influence client buyer decisions. We’re helping build those skills to equip them to do that.
Are there any current industry trends that are different, changing or exciting?
Across most industries, I find myself supporting companies with high potential leader development. It involves helping them to really identify the criteria for high potential leaders, what skills they need to develop, and creating solutions we can use to help them from year to year in supporting their growth and business goals.
What have been some of your favorite or best results within a particular industry in the franchise?
This ties back to the high potential leadership development. I have a few clients that I’ve helped to create a process to support growing their leaders. One of the things I’m most proud of is helping companies to build their leadership development programs from the ground up and try to really tie what we can bring to the table to make sure it’s specific to their business. We work to tie in their values and competencies, as well as what’s happening within their business and industry to create context to what we do.
We can bring a certain level of expertise to developing their team members, but we want them to feel like it’s their own. Part of my approach is going in and spending time on site – on the front lines with the leadership teams, learning what they do and how they do it, what their language is, and so on. So when I come in to deliver their program, it really feels like we’re part of their organization, versus just a standard program. I try to learn and understand from their training department to gather information on some of the other initiatives they have going on so we can help them make links and create consistency.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Dale Carnegie Training?
I love the creative process of going in and strategizing with the client. From the initial meeting to understand their business needs, to creating a solution that’s right for them and putting the pieces and parts together, then going in and delivering the results.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Creative, energized, motivating.
What’s one fun, interesting fact about you?
I love grocery shopping. I love to cook and try new recipes. I actually really enjoy the process of going to the grocery store and picking out the food and finding new and interesting things that I can weave into how I cook. Someday, when I retire, it’s a business I can do. I’ll gather people’s grocery lists and go out and do their shopping for them to create this whole food experience with people.
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