The first four words of Rick Warren’s bestselling book, “The Purpose-Driven Life,” changed Andy Janning’s life, the former credit union training executive said Monday during his keynote address at CUNA’s Experience Learning Live! in Las Vegas.
Those four words: It’s not about you.
Those words should serve as a mantra for the credit union trainers and executives who gathered for the conference, says Janning. They must focus on paving the way for success for others: the employees they’re training.
“If you help someone else find their place at the table, yours will take care of itself,” Janning says.
The former training executive at Forum Credit Union in Indianapolis delivered a moving presentation titled, “50 words: Highlights, hard lessons, and help for your training career.”
The other 46 words chronicle the journey of Janning’s existence, from falling in love, to having a family, finding his passion, burning out in his job, nearly choosing to leave his family, taking a leap of faith to start his own business, and, finally, redemption and living with greater meaning.
At Forum, Janning engineered a training program called “Motivate University” that included more than 100 courses he designed, drawing praise from throughout the industry. The attention got to Janning’s head, he acknowledged, and he lost sight of what should be his top priorities: his marriage and children.
At the height of his despair, Janning started reading Warren’s book.
“The opening line annihilated me--I broke down and cried for two hours,” he says. “Those four words got through to me in a way others couldn’t.”
Life wasn’t all sunshine and puppy dogs thereafter for Janning, who initially struggled in his consulting business, No Net Solutions, before discovering a new passion and center point thanks to professional photographer friends Mike and Bobbi Belschner.
The secret to producing magical photos doesn’t lie with gear, but with perspective, Bobbi advised him. She described her best tool as “30-year goggles”—the realization that the experiences she captures will soon become distant memories, but can be relived every time the participants look at them.
“It’s so easy for us as trainers to brush aside trainees who don’t show promise to us,” Janning says. “But put on your 30-year goggles and pretend they’re your family. Your job becomes something different, transcendent.”