Are you successful? That depends upon your definition of success. What is it? How is success to be measured? There are many opinions of what success actually is. My definition is different than most. The best definition of success is this, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”. This is the best definition you will ever find. It is worth memorizing, but what exactly do these words mean? Let’s break them down.

Why Progressive?

“Progressive” is used here not in the sense of modernism, but rather proceeding step by step, happening gradually. Progressive assumes maturity — the ability to stay…


As Published in IMD magazine, May, 2020

In today’s uncertain times, there is one thing upon which most will agree — everyone is looking for solutions. Let’s take a step back and evaluate.

Pre-virus, many industries were facing an epidemic shortage of skilled workers — a talent shortage. It’s not that we didn’t have skills or talents. We did (and do) have talented people with plenty of skills, but was your specific industry finding enough people with the specific skills you needed? A “talent shortage” is a people shortage — insufficient qualified candidates to meet the market demand. …


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every bit of training we receive were absolutely “dead on”, targeting the exact things we need help with most, and at the exact point in time when that help was needed? Those are worthy training goals, but often don’t materialize.

Here are some key points to help ensure your technical training is the best it can be. These are not just for those delivering training; these tips are intended to help those involved with obtaining and/or arranging training.

#1 — How we learn

We should not assume people learn like we do. Education generally recognizes…


New Year, but Same Old Thinking?

Has your company been on a roll? Are you happy with your results from last year? I have to admit the reflection in my mirror shows plenty of room for improvement. There is always more to be done. Making it happen is the challenge. It’s more than a matter of prioritization. The place to start is with my mindset. Business owners know this instinctively or have learned it along the rocky road to entrepreneurship. New results in a new year require new thinking. Here’s why.

By nature we are risk takers. A certain amount…


Is your company different? I mean, is it recognizably different from other companies its size, in the same area, or compared to its competitors? What about your people — your service department and customer service? Are they a “cut above the rest”?

Consider the reputation your company enjoys (or doesn’t). “We have a crisis of trust,” says Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief research officer of the Reputation Institute, a reputation measurement and management services firm. He’s saying that people are questioning whether they can trust organizations. …


What you are seeing is the aftermath of destruction — a Waukesha V12 diesel engine pulled out of the rubble of New York’s World Trade Center. Seven engines were maintained proactively so they could start, run, and produce electric power during an emergency. Video surveillance proved they performed their duty until they drowned, as they lived four floors below ground near the Hudson River.

In our Gas Engine Technology & Maintenance course I teach the importance of being proactive with respect to equipment maintenance. A technician will perform proactive maintenance only if he/she has a proactive mindset. Being proactive requires…


Whether a company is in manufacturing, oil and gas, or construction, one common thing affects all — the need to see our training succeed. Are the training efforts producing the desired results?

This week a friend related that during takeoff a loud bang, screeching brakes, and emergency stop awakened him. Thankfully, the pilots were able to stop the plane before runway overrun. I commented, “It was good they had not yet reached “V1”” (V1 is the speed beyond which a plane should no longer abort takeoff). The fire and rescue squads remained at a cautious distance from the plane knowing…


When is the best time to deliver technical training? The question resurrects more than one school of thought. Some say “train proactively” in hopes of reducing liability (cost). When we’re dealing with safety, for example, common sense says a proactive approach would be better (and appreciated). New employee orientation training often takes place day one for good reason. Maintenance and related training when done proactively extends equipment life. We would not want new employees ruining millions of dollars of equipment only to legitimately claim “no one told me”. CPR training provided early might look good from a compliance perspective, but…


For at least ten years we have heard about the “skills gap” epidemic across most American industries. The problem stretches beyond America’s shores — this is an international issue as evidenced by similar concerns overseas. The “skills gap” can be defined as a shortage of qualified workers. If your company is under pressure to find and retain quality workers then you know this is more than perception.

In today’s dynamic world of work, with daily advances in technology, Boomers moving toward retirement, and new generations entering the workplace it is an understatement to say we are in new territory. You…

John Mueller

Founder/CEO at SnackLearning | Skills Gap Learning Solutions for Manufacturing and Oil and Gas | SnackLearning.tech

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