Desi Jagger's Blog

My P&G Story #2: “We don’t need you”

“We don’t need you” – the HR manager dismissed me with a long wave of her hand. “Only top management can deliver training.”

My heart dropped. Developing people was my passion… and I had so much to offer. For years, I had not only worked in marketing but had also designed and delivered training for other marketers. It was my first day in a new business unit and I had rushed off to HR to offer myself as a trainer (on top of my regular marketing job).

Over the next few weeks, I shrunk in disappointment from this rejection. Everywhere I looked, I could see capability gaps that could be bridged with training. Afraid to challenge the status quo, I remained stuck.


Then one day an intern asked me a marketing question. I helped him. Then he asked another question… and another one. I decided to show him all the training I have delivered in the past and asked which ones would be useful for him. “All of them”, he said. Here was someone who needed my help and I wasn’t about to turn him away.


“We start tomorrow,” I said.


We had that first training at the back of the office, with the blinds down. (I had a recurring nightmare of the HR manager bursting in and declaring an end to our ‘clandestine’ knowledge transfer). Two people turned up to the second session and before I knew it we had a marketing training program with 5 people regularly attending. I collected feedback from the participants and presented it to the marketing director.


“This is brilliant. Everyone should go through this training.”


With his official blessing, I expanded the training into a 3-day course and recruited two other marketers to help me deliver it. I later heard our results found their way onto an HR presentation to the regional headquarters, showcasing how we develop talent in the region…


Get unstuck by taking action. Don’t wait for permission to do the right thing.

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