The Magic (or Madness) of Learning

By March 31, 2019October 4th, 2021LTEN Focus On Training


The Magic (or Madness) of Learning

FROM THE PRESIDENT – David Fortanbary

When you see the “light bulb” go on, everything fades.

Take a moment and reflect on your last week at work, or your last month. If you are like me, it was probably a blur. Despite the best-laid plans and well-organized days, today’s trainers are getting hit with so many demands and are asked to deliver at levels never conceived of just five years ago. Why do we subject ourselves to such madness?

Why? Because we love what we do. While many of you may be in your roles as a developmental stepping stone, you will think back on your time as a trainer as one of your most difficult yet most satisfying roles.

I’ve interviewed many executives, many of whom cut their teeth in their industry through training. Many rave about their experience in training as the most significant turning point in their career. This is where they gained organizational exposure and savvy, learned how a headquarters job was so different than a field based job and learned from mistakes only experienced in a legal/medical/regulatory (LMR) review.

Then there are those of us who never left or continuously find ourselves coming back to training, despite the tough days and the incredibly high demands. Crazy. Right? Not really.

As trainers and educators, we wait for that one moment, that spark of an idea you see in the eyes of your learners and can take responsibility for. It is a magical moment that most who are or have been in training can identify with.

We tend to focus on the difficult and demanding days, and question why we do what we do. But, when the magic happens, when you see the “light bulb” go on, everything fades in comparison to:

  • All those demands.
  • All those rough LMR days.
  • All those awkward home office moments.
  • All those times picking up trash after a class has left.
  • All those challenges from the business.
  • All those late nights wrapping up workshops and content before a national launch meeting.
  • All those moments when it just seems too difficult.

Yes, the role that you are in is difficult, but things worth having are usually things worth working hard for. You may have bad days, days where you question the difference you’re making. Like any educator, though, when you see the light-bulb moment happening, you’ll know it’s all worthwhile. Seek out the small wins and create those magical moments that recharge your energy.

To help you cultivate those magical moments, LTEN is with you every step of the way. Whether you need career support, a community to lean on (and do we ever need it these days!) or resources to help you experience more magic, we’ve got your back. If nothing else, it can be therapeutic to know you are not in this alone.

Read, engage, learn and see how LTEN can help. Visit our website, www.LTEN.
org, to learn about events, share your questions or solutions and be part of the community.

Best of luck in 2019. I hope you make this your magical year!

David Fortanbary is president of LTEN and head of U.S. performance training for UCB. Email David at


About LTEN

The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network ( is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 3,200 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.

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