By Alyssa Stahr
Andy Singer, a young engineer, began his company in 1990 with a “vision of destiny.” Now 25 years later, Singer Executive Development has grown into an accumulation of that dream to help companies achieve success through team building, public speaking, negotiating and sales workshops. Learning about as many business functions as possible, Singer combined his training skills, MBA and business experience to “develop a set of training courses and mindset that provides for accelerated learning of these core business skill sets,” according to the Singer Executive Development website. A speaker and author, Singer teaches critical skill sets that are not taught in schools to technical, engineering and program managerial teams. Singer said that deciding on which training programs he would offer was interesting.
“I’ve always been involved in technology. There was such a basic need for time management skills, supervisory skills, sales skills—they weren’t taught in high school and in colleges, and it seemed like areas effective to train in,” he said. “And, it’s fun to see people who pick up those skills. It feels like you’ve done something useful.”
The first technical training course that the company developed was Microwave Antenna System Basics, Installation and Alignment, a topic near and dear to the former engineer’s heart. Next was the Microwave Radio System Training, a recent launch that would normally take years to complete. Singer distilled that down to three days so people can understand it better.
“Engineers will say, ‘We’ve been told to do something, and we just do it. Now we can understand the theory behind why we’re supposed to do it,’” Singer said.
Other courses offered include: Presentation Excellence, Ultimate Negotiating, Effective Supervision, Master of Time, The Art of Profitability and Line Sweeping 101: Line Sweep Training.
In addition to in-person trainings, Singer also provides an online RF Safety Awareness course. Anyone involved in RF sites can go online and it’s only an hour or two of training to receive his or her OSHA certification.
“We’ve really kind of divided the business into three parts: the training part; the employee development, those are programs designed for a company or a group of employees; and then the third piece we didn’t think about initially, it was an offshoot,” Singer said. “In training people we get to know the employees and the company very intimately, and we get to know where their challenges are. We can offer consulting services and optimize trouble areas.”
Singer said that many of these challenge areas lie in sales force structure, cost reduction programs and competitive analysis.
“That’s really a lot of fun when you get to that level of business consulting,” he said.
While Singer does work with individuals at times, he focuses more on team solutions.
“We find it more useful and enjoyable to work on a team approach,” he said. “There’s a lot of interaction that takes place when you’re training a team instead of coaching an individual. Once they come out of the other side they’re working better with each other, not just because of the skills they’ve picked up, but because they can depend on each other more.”
Typically Singer has not brought in to be a motivational speaker, but he does get feedback on how motivating his trainings are. While he may be brought in to talk about a certain subject, it can end up being a motivational experience. With that he attributes two secrets of success. The first is being a believer in continuous improvement.
“The day you think you know everything about a subject, you cease to improve. As an executive you have to drive your people to believe that,” Singer said.
The second is a belief in excellence. “You’ve got to come here and work every day, so why not be a winner? Your department and company should have a reputation for excellence no matter what you’re doing. Focus on that when you get up in the morning.”
And, Singer practices what he preaches. He believes that he is in the midst of fulfilling the destiny he set out, but he’s not done.
“There’s so many more organizations that we can touch. It’s like the iceberg sticking out of the water. We’ve touched that piece of it, and I’ve always been a believer in America and what we do as this melting pot to make the world a better place. The more we can do to help companies in the United States, the better we can be. I know we aren’t done with that.”
For more information, visit www.singerexecutivedevelopment.com.