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Columnist’s love of teaching started in the Navy

A frequent contributor to the Idaho Business Review since 2004 will now be a much more frequent contributor. Dan Bobinski’s “Workplace Excellence” column may now be read each week in the Focus section of the IBR, or online.

Bobinski is a certified behavior analyst, best-selling author, president of Leadership Development Inc., and director of the Center for Workplace Excellence. Originally from Chicago, he received a bachelor’s degree in workforce education and development from Southern Illinois University; he later obtained a master’s degree in training and development from Idaho State University in Pocatello and is now completing his doctorate in organizational learning and leadership at the Boise satellite branch of the University of Idaho.

Bobinski started his career as an enlisted man in the Navy, working in engineering onboard a destroyer.

During his naval experience, Bobinski discovered a passion for teaching and became the trainer in his division. When he left the military and got a job in sales, he was asked by a supervisor if he’d like to teach sales to other staff members.

“I discovered I loved teaching, and I went through the school of hard knocks about what worked and what didn’t in the classroom,” he said.

About the same time he met a retired executive who taught leadership and who became his mentor. “He taught me how to think differently. Before then, I’d experienced many successes but also many failures. I didn’t know what I was doing to cause any of it,” Bobinski said. What he learned from his mentor lead to a drastic improvement in his relationships and the quality of his work.

“I was in my late 20s, but one day he asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to teach what he was teaching because it was transformational,” said Bobinski.

He began getting clients through word of mouth and Leadership Development Inc. was born.

Fast forward to 2004 when Bobinski co-wrote his first book, Living Toad-Free: Removing Obstacles to Success. His latest book, a best seller, is titled Creating Passion-Driven Teams.

Over the years Bobinski has travelled throughout the U.S. providing keynote speeches and managerial training, including for a number of Idaho corporations such as Idahoan Foods, Intermountain MLS and Syringa Networks – as well as for Leadership Meridian. He has also traveled abroad teaching as far away as Qatar.

His future focus will be on training managers how to think and act like trainers. “Very few managers are taught how to train,” he said, “even though it’s a core part of their job responsibilities.”

About Gaye Bunderson