Every now and then we are lucky enough to partner with a client who reminds us why we do what we do. For me, one of these opportunities began a year ago, when we started working with a Minnesota-based global manufacturing company. This organization has grown significantly in recent years, which has created a need for well-trained plant supervisors who can effectively lead teams.

I always consider working with frontline leaders an opportunity. They are the folks with one foot firmly planted in the work and one foot stepping up to leadership.

They understand the what, how, and why of the work. And they also have a sense of the organization at large, and how their team contributes. They are “working leaders.” As such, they often need improved communication skills, tools to provide immediate and ongoing feedback, and skills to manage conflict.

Because the plant supervisors for this project are no different, we designed a four-session training, which focuses on:

  • Behavioral assessment
  • Communication
  • Time management, focus, and productivity
  • Feedback
  • Accelerating performance
  • Employee development
  • Team-building, and
  • Conflict resolution

But what has made them unique is the nature of their global operation.

With locations in Egypt, Malaysia, China, and India (to name a few), this client has leaders with varying literacy skills and cultural backgrounds.

leadership challenges

We need to ensure that all materials are not just translated, but are also culturally relevant. From colloquialisms to training activities, we have edited our materials thoroughly for a global audience.

Yet, what strikes me about this translation process is how little we have needed to modify the actual content. In part, this is because our core leadership philosophy at EPI focuses on a foundation of self-leadership. And self-leadership skills fundamentally address the most common human struggles.

Certainly, culturally-specific leadership challenges exist. But more often than not, leaders at every level, across the globe, face the same human challenges.

leadership challenges

Communication, conflict, the desire to do meaningful work and do it well… these challenges are not reserved for a few. We all struggle with them. And we all want to more fully understand ourselves and others.

It has been a pleasure to see this training launch successfully! Participants remain engaged, insightful, and eager. This level of training doesn’t often reach the manufacturing-floor level, so they’re taking advantage of every minute. The HR partners also appreciate the comprehensive and cohesive materials, recognizing that this training is setting them up for ongoing success.

Getting in the trenches isn’t always a pretty sight. Naturally, we’ve had our own specific challenges. But witnessing how leaders universally can shine when supported with training, makes it all worthwhile.

Stay tuned as we share more on this partnership!


Deanell Sandoval, Vice President of Leadership Development 


P.S. Wiley DiSC Classic is part of our customized solution for this client, due to the ease of material translation and robust behavioral assessment. Discover more about DiSC assessments.

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