An article in the Wall Street Journal (“Despite Cutbacks, Firms Invest in Developing Leaders,” 2/9/09) discussed the importance of providing training for key employees during the current economic downturn. The piece, by Dana Mattioli, indicated that while some companies are cutting back on training programs, many-Estee Lauder, Accenture, Philips Electronics, Canon USA, among others-remain committed to training because they recognize that they will need effective managers and leaders to lead them through the recession.

The message in the WSJ article certainly resonates with us at EMS. Everyone can use the extra insight and support that comes from working with experienced trainers and coaches, particularly in the area of communications. Leadership development is critical within organizations that want to maintain a skilled workforce and loyalty among employees. Executives, upper managers and key employees who can communicate effectively add significant value to their businesses. Forward-thinking companies recognize that this is not a time for cutting back on efforts to develop those abilities.

We know that there are more opportunities than challenges ahead. To seize these opportunities, organizations must maintain their commitments to developing and supporting leadership skills among their people, particularly when times are difficult. Companies with great leaders will be the ones most likely to emerge intact when the economy improves.

Yet if you’re with a company that isn’t able or willing to fund coaching or training for you or your team, it’s time for you to invest in YOURSELF. Working with a coach will make you a more valuable asset to your company, and will give you a competitive edge if you decide to test the market. There are plenty of good coaches out there—it’s just important that you find someone whose style is a good match for yours.

If you choose to work with EMS, we’ll be pleased to devise a game-plan that fits your needs and budget.