The Endless “Born or Made” Debate about Leadership

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Leadership, as we all know well, is the biggest factor in an organization. It is the most significant ingredient in an organization’s success or failure. An organization is known by its leadership ability, just as a nation, too, is known by it. Some organizations, like nations, have shown exemplary leadership at times of crisis to steer the team out of trouble. Many leaders have gone down in history for taking momentous decisions.

While there is no doubt about the role and importance of leadership to an organization; the big debate in management, psychology, social, academic and many other circles is this: Is leadership born, or is it made? The starting point of this debate is almost impossible to ascertain. It is perhaps as old as leadership itself. It is not likely to end till as long as the human race continues to produce leaders, analysts, debaters and academicians!

Subjective and difficult to determine

While the topic of whether leadership is innate or inculcated is one of the highly dividing and polarizing debates that we can get to see; it is interesting to see that the distinguishing lines are often blurred. It is not always possible to arrive at black and white answers to a grey question such as this. There is no outright winner in a debate on a topic of this nature.

While people who argue that leaders are born are forthright in their assertion about their thinking and back their viewpoint with examples, statistics and the like; the other side of the camp is equally convinced about its own perspective, being equally strong in its articulation that leaders can be made.

Get a fresh perspective on the topic

Want to take the debate farther and try to understand the interplay between natural and imbibed leadership abilities, or what one may consider the debate between nature and nurture? An interesting and highly perceptive, entertaining learning session from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the HR industry, will bring forth many aspects of this debate.

Harold P. Brull, a licensed psychologist and has taught industrial/organizational psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels for 17 years and served as Senior Vice-President of Personnel Decisions International (PDI), now Korn Ferry Leadership Consulting, for 36 years, during which he has designed selection processes and systems for over 1,000 organizations ranging from ford Motor Company to the Peace Corps; will be the speaker at this webinar.

Want to understand the perspectives on the born vs. made leadership that this senior leadership professional brings? Then, please attend this webinar, to do which all that is needed is logging on to TrainHR

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

This webinar has been approved for 1.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Discussion of the elements of leadership

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It is just that some people slide into leadership roles much more easily and naturally than many others. It is not that the others cannot do the same, but it is just that they are not at as much ease in doing this. This is the triggering point of the debate about whether leadership is born or made. Why or how is it that some people get it more naturally and more easily than many others, despite starting at the same point and despite being of the same sociocultural, economic or educational background?

At this webinar, Harold will give participants an increased understanding of what constitutes effective leadership and what others expect of those they follow. He will examine how organizations develop their leaders in order to compete successfully in the global marketplace. This webinar will examine leadership from a variety of perspectives, focusing on how leadership has been studied and how organizations have attempted to develop leadership talent.

This session is of high utility to anyone who aspires to leadership position, anyone who wants to understand themselves and their bosses better, anyone wanting to understand how nature and nurture interact in terms of leadership, and anyone interested in developing their own leadership skills.

Harold will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Why Leadership Matters
  • The History of Identifying Leaders
  • The Interplay between Nature and Nurture
  • The Distinction between Leadership and Management
  • What Matters to Followers
  • How Organizations view Leadership
  • Research on Leadership Effectiveness
  • What’s needed for tomorrow’s world?
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The three important keys to developing team leadership

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A team is defined as a collection of a small number of individuals who are tasked with carrying out a defined, accountable objective during a specific period of time. They are usually people of complementary or matching skills and aptitudes and work together to achieve a common goal and purpose. Teams usually need leadership to succeed, because their efforts get channelised and focused better with leadership.

Leadership has been defined variously. A commonly accepted definition of leadership is that it is the ability to influence a team into performing its tasks and motivating and guiding it to reach its set goals. It of course, goes without saying that leadership is a group effort, because it cannot exist in a vacuum.

An effective team leader focuses on what the team can achieve together. She believes that the whole is more important than the parts. She will make efforts to identify the potential each team member carries and tries to develop it for the common good of the team. A good leader carries the team members along in her endeavors. She builds trust and teamwork and motivates and inspires the team to reach higher goals.

Three important factors play a role in facilitating team leadership:

  • Team members’ roles
  • Behavioral and communication styles in teams
  • Problem solving techniques to enable teams to reach their goal

Get to understand these three skills

How does a leader bring these about? What are the ways by which these factors can be utilized to bring about leadership that is useful for the organization? It is these topics that will be explained in-depth at a webinar that is being organized by TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources areas.

Valerie Pelan, who is President of Integrated Focus, a role in which she has been consulting and providing Executive coaching for over 10 years, during which she has been working with the owners and executive teams in mid-sized companies providing Strategic Planning and communication skills, will be the speaker at this webinar.

Please register for this webinar by logging on to TrainHR . Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

This webinar has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

A quality that is difficult to develop and put into action

Although it feels nice to talk about team leadership, it is a quality that is difficult to implement in one’s professional life. Many team leaderships fail for a number of reasons.  Valerie will discuss these and explain the three important factors that help managers, leaders and project managers lead a successful team.

This session is of immense value to everyone connected with leadership, such as Managers, Leaders, HR Managers, and Project Managers.

Valerie will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • Learn what the definition is of a “Team”
  • Why Ground Rules are so important
  • Negative team roles
  • Positive – action oriented team roles
  • MBTI – how a person’s personality can benefit a team
  • Techniques for problem solving.

 

Making new managers productive quickly

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When an organization hires new managers, it has a lot of expectations from them. Considering the potential they have, they are seen as future leaders of the organization. They are expected to take on a number of roles. They take on a lot of responsibilities, which is why it is a given that they could take some time to get their eye in into the job. Getting accustomed to the new environment, the reportees, the new work and sometimes new business, and very importantly, the new organizational culture, all take time to sink in.

However, a mistake most organizations do is that instead of hastening the new manager into getting adjusted into the new role and making her productive at the earliest; they define the functions of the new manager rather vaguely and ambiguously. As a result, when a manager is taken for her technical excellence; she ends up being made to work in a role that is different from the one offered to her. Instead of being made to lead, the new manager could end up being placed in a position of secondary importance, something that will further impede her switch to the productive gear.

This is a big mistake, as it impedes the manager’s transition into the productive mode. It also puts the new hire off, giving negative feelings about the new organization. With this, the foundation for an early departure is laid. This is bad for the organization, because it ends up losing a high potential candidate. It reflects HR’s poor ability to tap the immense potential the new manager would have brought and turning it to the organization’s advantage.

Learn the ways of placing the new managers in the saddle quickly

It is on this highly relevant and interesting topic that TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be offering a webinar. This learning session is aimed at teaching organizations the ways by which they can avoid being in a scenario where they end up losing great potential, all because of their own follies.

Marcia Zidle, who is CEO of Leaders At All Levels and a board certified executive coach and brings over 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience in the areas of business transformation, talent management and leadership development and provides strategic focus, alignment and guidance to business leaders and their teams, will be the speaker.

To gain insights into how to tap into the potential of new managers and make them productive from an early stage of their hiring; please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program.

This webinar has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Skills needed for new managers

Marcia will explore the three critical skills that new managers need to master:

  • Switching from relying on formal authority to establish credibility
  • Striving for control to building subordinate commitment, and
  • Managing tasks to lead people.

New managers will be in a position to master these elements when they phase out quickly into their new managerial position. It requires the development of leadership skills and techniques to enhance their personal and team outcomes. When new managers lead others, they need to have a greater level of self-awareness and core skills such as strategic thinking, influencing, increasing team performance and maintaining a goal oriented vision.

The manager needs to be open to learning, too

Marcia will show how people promoted into managerial positions newly need to discover new ways and levels of learn to let go of old ones, even if they have been valuable till now. Finding new ways of deriving personal and career satisfaction from their work and measuring their success is a critical mental switch that effective managers must make.

At this webinar, Marcia will describe the skills and techniques that managers need to have for successfully transitioning into a new role and becoming peak performers. She will cover the following areas at this session:

  • Learn 8 tactics to ramp up quickly, take charge and get results
  • Answer these 4 tough questions to ensure you’re on the right track
  • Recognize the importance of your personal power and how to develop it
  • Sharpen their emotional intelligence to understand your impact on others
  • Identify the top 10 reasons why newly promoted managers fail in their jobs
  • Review 3 strategies and 10 tactics to influence those you manage and work with
  • Know the 5 “rules of the roads” for peak performance in today’s changing workplace.

Behaviors that make great leaders

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What makes a person a leader? What makes that leader successful? Contrary to what most believe; leadership is not something of a gift from heaven that a chosen few are endowed with. It is something that can be acquired with the right honing in the right direction.

Like many other traits, what is needed to become a leader is to inculcate the right thinking and actions that will lead the person to the leadership role. The genesis of leadership is the ability to lead oneself. This is the foundation to being in a position to influence others into leadership. Leading by example is often the most effective technique for leadership.

Be perfect and then preach

A story about an Indian spiritual guru runs into something like this: A woman approached him to admonish her child for eating too much sweet. The guru is supposed to have asked the woman to bring the child a week later.

When she came, he advised the kid to stop eating sweets. When the mother asked the guru why he could not have given the same advice on the previous visit, the guru is said to have remarked that he took one week to give up sweets himself. It is only when he practiced what he preached that he believed he would be in a position to influence others –a prerequisite for leadership.

We notice from this story that the leader did not do anything out of the way or out of the box. This is how leadership is. A leader does not have to, to use the old cliché, reinvent the wheel. She only needs to put in the right thinking at the right time and put that thinking into action. Leaders inculcate the right attitude and behavior for bringing out the best in people around them.

Learn about the seven qualities of great leaders

What are the other qualities of great leaders? These will be discussed and explored in depth at a webinar that TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the area of human resource, will be offering. This webinar will have David Rohlander, author of the Amazon-bestseller, “The CEO Code”, for whom five sixths of his new clients coming from referrals.

David will offer explain the seven ways or behaviors by which leaders stand out. Leadership is about being natural in any environment. Just like how our most natural instinct comes to the fore when we are in a new situation; the same should happen with leadership. It should be developed to the extent that the mind is conditioned to behave like a leader when the situation demands.

Please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR.

Viewing this webinar, its entirety qualifies for a recertification credit hour that may be counted toward SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP recertification from SHRM.
Credit is awarded based on the actual educational time spent in the program. This webinar has been approved for 1.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi and SPHRi recertification through HR Certification Institute (HRCI).

Anyone can be a leader

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David will emphasize at this session that leadership is something that any of us can practice. It no rocket science. It only calls for altering our behaviors to an extent in the course of our interactions with people and learning new ways of handling situations. He will explain the tools with which one can assess oneself and develop and design a systematic follow-up which will help us improve our leadership behavior. He will offer concrete technics, philosophical justification and a road map that will be simple to follow.

At this session that is highly useful and pertinent for people in management, such as  CEO, CFO, COO, Vice Presidents and Regional Managers, Managers and Supervisors, Newly Promoted Managers and High Potential Employees being groomed for Leadership and Promotions; David will cover the following areas:

  • What does a great leader look like and act like?
  • How do you live with integrity as a leader?
  • The magic of self-control, growth and caring what about attitude?
  • The primary activities of a great leader
  • How does a great leader treat others?
  • The importance of focused attention
  • It all boils down to 7 basic behaviors.

Identifying employees that have leadership mettle

Identifying people with leadership skills is perhaps the most important task for an organization that has its eyes on the future. Every organization has employees from across the rank and file with leadership capabilities that can take the organization forward. It is just that many of them never get to the limelight, as a result of which they leave out of frustration. In many organizations, even after such employees have left; the impact is never realized fully, because the reason for which they left was something the organization created in the first place.

Put a system in place

To avoid such a situation, the organization has to have an efficient system of identifying leadership skills in an employee. There are various ways by which this is done. The nearest and easiest person to identify a tyro with leadership potential is the manager to whom he reports. He is the most vital source for spotting and nurturing leadership skills. Rookies who have just begun their career will report to a manager who has no idea at the beginning about the new recruit’s potential.

The manager is the ideal person

This manager should be the first contact through whom the leadership skill is recognized and given shape to. With no prejudice towards that employee, the manager should make an objective assessment of such skills. The manager should try out by giving assignments and challenges in a graded manner. Since the novice is at the manager’s total disposal; he can try out various combinations and permutations of identifying skills.

Test the beginner in a variety of ways

He can start by allotting simple tasks. If the new recruit achieves the task with ease, he can be tried for greater roles, all of which demand good leadership skills. A good candidate is one who takes every task as a challenge and gets fuelled by greater complexity levels. Doing this consistently should be easy for the manager to locate and then if need be, refine these skills.

There are a few drawbacks

Often, the flip side of this exercise is that the manager could end up overrating an employee in whom he subconsciously sees a reflection of his own management style, which may be far from perfect. Spotting leadership mettle can suffer other drawbacks, too. There are innumerable instances in which a manager’s blue-eyed body is the one who is most favored for promotions.

Dealing with experienced employees

If this is the case of handling rookies, there are other occasions on which people with leadership potential are gifted to an organization on a platter. When employees are consistently denied leadership growth, one organization’s loss is another’s gain. All that an organization needs to do is to recruit the frustrated employee. Once he has been recruited, a simple thing the new organization can do is to give him opportunities of the kind he was missing earlier on. This will bring about many benefits by bringing the best out of him.

It will motivate the employee highly, because he is freshly out of the old organization. He will show the enthusiasm of a proselyte and work in the new organization till he drops dead. The other major benefit is that such an employee will be easy to retain.

Manager is important here too

Here too, the manager is the most important person in identifying leadership potential. Of course, since this kind of employee is not raw and carries some experience; it calls for different dynamics. The experienced employee may have ego issues with the new manager. Or he could have other issues like reluctance to carry out instructions. These factors have to be taken into account in such situations. It calls for handling such persons with suave. They would not like to be shouted at, which is a small luxury for a manager dealing with a greenhorn.

HR can help

For these bottlenecks to be overcome, HR has to step in. It can, in fact, initiate the entire process. To make sure that spotting leadership in the organization is a collective process and one that is free of errors of the type we saw; irrespective of the experience of the employee that joins the organization, HR can start identifying leadership potential from day one of the employee’s tenure.

It can interact with the manager on a regular basis and keep itself updated on the progress the employee that the manager has identified as one with leadership potential, is making. It could keep a close watch on this employee’s attitude towards work and life. It could be a good point of contact between this employee’s manager and the top management.

Ensure objectivity

Another important way by which HR can play an active role in the process is by placing or being a filter in the selection of the employee with leadership potential. We saw that there are a few drawbacks in the method of identifying leadership skills. HR is the best suited department to ensure that the manager does not show favoritism or is not erring in his judgment. It can use its own assessment skills to cross check and reinforce the manager’s choice. This will ensure that the organization reaps the best out of the employee with leadership potential.

There is one point that HR needs to address when it is doing this. HR itself has to be completely free of prejudice. If it is assigned the task of verifying the manager’s choice and carries a bad memory of the manager, it is likely to mar a bright prospect.

Contact Details
TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

Can creative persons be good leaders?

Can creative people be good leaders? Leadership can be an art to an extent because it requires intuitive responses to different situations and can thus be creative to an extent. But is a person who is entirely creative, the right choice for a leader? This is a big question for many organizations, and with full justification.

Getting the most creative one to lead

This happens in team sport all too often. We have innumerable instances of very talented players going on to become captains of their teams, only to come a cropper all over, with disastrous results. Usually, the push to make the team’s most talented player the captain comes from the management. It is tempted to equate creative talent with leadership talent. The two are not always on par with each other.

In organizations too, the same temptation sometimes plays on the management. Whether creative persons go on to become successful leaders is always open to question. Many leadership pundits draw a parallel between the two by thinking that if creativity is all about thinking out of the box; so is leadership.

But leadership can be a science too!

This thinking is true, but to a limited extent. For that matter, leadership can be a science too, because it involves going about situations in a logical and process-oriented manner. Does just this much make leadership a science? To an extent, leadership can be both, but to get to the focus of this discussion –that of whether creative people necessarily make good leaders –one perspective we have to take is whether creative people can take logical decisions.

This is a major aspect of the discussion. By its very nature, creativity is bereft of logic. We don’t expect to see any rationality in a Da Vinci or Picasso painting. Do we? Creativity is the free and unrestricted and usually, unstructured flow of ideas. Does this make a person with this at his core suited for leadership? If leadership is all logic and if creativity is the exact lack of it; how does a creative person become an effective leader?

Leadership and creativity are two different boxes

Saying this much does not meant that there is any doubt about the leadership ability of the creative persons, but let us bear one fundamental point in mind: Creative persons can think of not just out of the box, but sometimes even out of the world ideas, but generally ONLY if it concerns their area of work. Leadership is not likely to be, for instance, a musician’s prime area of work. Stretching this example to organizations, we may have an animator who could come up with kickass ideas, but those will usually be design ideas.

Yes indeed, leadership is also a lot of inventiveness and thinking at the drop of a hat. But this is of a different nature altogether. A leader can think about business strategies and other aspects very creatively and differently, but this is creativity of a different type from the one concerning pure creative stuff. This is how it goes: Leaders can be creative, but seldom do creative people become leaders. Make no mistake –leadership does require creativity. But that is the kind of creativity that is confined to leadership skills. In fact, every profession requires a certain level of creativity of the kind and limit it permits.

We are all unique in our own sense

Why is it that creative people usually struggle as leaders? It is because of the human mind’s inability to think in different directions with the same effectiveness. We all come with unique talents. We all have our individual traits. Largely predetermined by genetic and many other factors, these are the very essence of our true selves. This explains why some people are born with the ability to run well, while others cannot. Some others are great singers, while others cannot think of a tune. To do something that goes against the basic grain of our core; it takes a lot. The person may do it out of compulsion or for the challenge, but it will never be accomplished with the ease with which someone born with that talent can.

There are a few leaders from the creative fields, too

There are many examples of creative persons who have gone on to become effective leaders, but they are more the exception than the rule. They are usually people with multifaceted talents that go on to perform these seemingly contradictory roles with ease and aplomb. It is akin to how charismatic actors have gone on to become well-known leaders. Ronald Reagan is perhaps the best example that one can think of. We have had quite a handful of such artistes who have become politicians in the developing world and led their countries for a considerable point of time and with reasonable success.

In the normal course, expecting an utterly creative person to automatically become or do well as a leader is a difficult proposition. One cannot come out with generalized answers. On the whole, if we have to answer the question of whether creative persons can become leaders, we have to judge on a case-to-case basis.

Reference:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2011/02/06/are-the-people-in-your-organization-too-smart-to-be-creative/

Contact Details
TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

Being with employees during personal tragedies

This is perhaps the ultimate test of HR’s human face. There are almost no employees in this world to whom one or another kind of personal tragedy doesn’t happen while at work, or someone who weathers it without letting it come in the way of work.

Work and life –two sides of a coin

Life and work are two sides of a coin; one doesn’t exist without the other. People work not just to pay bills. They also work for a sense of attainment, satisfaction and achievement. What they do in their work area reflects on their personal lives, and vice versa. So, when our personal and professional are intertwined, how does HR help employees cope with a personal tragedy? A personal tragedy may be of varying dimensions and depth, but its impact is sure to be felt on the employee, and this reflects on her work, which directly impacts the organization.

Common personal tragedies

The most common personal tragedies in an employee’s life are separation and sickness. Separation can be of any type –divorce or death. It could also be about having to stay away from a beloved partner or parent or offspring due to difference in the job location.

Sickness of a beloved one is tragic. To see a dear one, be it a parent, life partner or child, or a close friend suffer, is very painful. It causes us to think about it all the time, and leaves us with a sense of grief and helplessness.

Death of a beloved one is very difficult to overcome, at least in the short run. True, time is a great healer, but then, inherent in that adage is that fact that it takes time to heal. It is in circumstances such as these that HR needs to show its humane side. It can offer various options to affected employees.

How can HR help?

HR can allow tragedy-stuck employees freedom to avail leaves that are in excess of what is permitted by company policy. It can allow them to work from home. It can allow them to take time off to attend to sick people at home or a care center. Or it can allow them to take off may be two days in a week to meet their beloved in a distant place and allow them to work from there.

This is perhaps the ultimate test of HR’s human face. There are almost no employees in this world to whom one or another kind of personal tragedy doesn’t happen while at work, or someone who weathers it without letting it come in the way of work.

Work and life –two sides of a coin

Life and work are two sides of a coin; one doesn’t exist without the other. People work not just to pay bills. They also work for a sense of attainment, satisfaction and achievement. What they do in their work area reflects on their personal lives, and vice versa. So, when our personal and professional are intertwined, how does HR help employees cope with a personal tragedy? A personal tragedy may be of varying dimensions and depth, but its impact is sure to be felt on the employee, and this reflects on her work, which directly impacts the organization.

Common personal tragedies

The most common personal tragedies in an employee’s life are separation and sickness. Separation can be of any type –divorce or death. It could also be about having to stay away from a beloved partner or parent or offspring due to difference in the job location.

Sickness of a beloved one is tragic. To see a dear one, be it a parent, life partner or child, or a close friend suffer, is very painful. It causes us to think about it all the time, and leaves us with a sense of grief and helplessness.

Death of a beloved one is very difficult to overcome, at least in the short run. True, time is a great healer, but then, inherent in that adage is that fact that it takes time to heal. It is in circumstances such as these that HR needs to show its humane side. It can offer various options to affected employees.

How can HR help?

HR can allow tragedy-stuck employees freedom to avail leaves that are in excess of what is permitted by company policy. It can allow them to work from home. It can allow them to take time off to attend to sick people at home or a care center. Or it can allow them to take off may be two days in a week to meet their beloved in a distant place and allow them to work from there.

No charity, this!

The bottom line is, it should make sure it does everything to make the employee feel as much at home as possible, without affecting work greatly. Of course, such employees are not expected to give 100 percent; the shortfall can always be made up by smart delegation and distribution. None of these needs to be done as charity, because by showing its considerateness, HR helps the distressed employee cultivate a greater sense of loyalty to the organization.

The bottom line is, it should make sure it does everything to make the employee feel as much at home as possible, without affecting work greatly. Of course, such employees are not expected to give 100 percent; the shortfall can always be made up by smart delegation and distribution. None of these needs to be done as charity, because by showing its considerateness, HR helps the distressed employee cultivate a greater sense of loyalty to the organization.

Contact Details

TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539