Good Leaders Appreciate Learning & Talent Development

I have worked for several large to mid-sized organizations in my career. With that experience, I have gained a lot of knowledge about organizational behavior, leadership communication, and managing change.  One lesson I have learned in my career is good leaders are hard to find and bad leaders are hard to follow.  I have been fortunate to have been led by some dynamic, smart, business professionals for which I have come to admire.  In this article, I will discuss the four organizations that have been most positive and impactful in my career.  Those organizations are:

  • Halliburton
  • BP
  • AT&T
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical


An oil field services company with approximately 80,000 employees.  The company is known for its innovation and technical knowledge.  It has remained successful despite adversity because of its leadership.  Everyone, no matter the level, interacted and treated employees with respect.  The company also placed a high priority on organizational development and learning, both of which have helped it to remain a top player in the oil services industry.  In my experience, the leaders in this company were good communicators who were open to listening to novel approaches to doing work.  Something which I learned to admire during my time at the organization.  This is a company for which others in the industry should follow. 


A multinational oil and gas company with approximately 80,000 employees.  The organization is known for its BIO fuels and AirBP projects, two of several products and services offered by the organization.  Again, the leaders and professionals for which I worked were respectful, thought-driven, and open to communication.  They were eager to gain different perspectives on how to approach learning and develop employees.  I was most impressed with its Subject Matter Experts who, despite having a busy calendar always found the time to contribute to development projects.  This is another organization where learning and organizational development play a significant role in employee knowledge enhancement and transfer.


A multinational telecommunications corporation with approximately 270,000 employees, and one of the most innovative learning and development organizations for which I have worked.  The T2 Transformation team was sagacious and technically advanced.  The two leaders on this team were open-minded, innovative, respectful, and not afraid of change.  I was proud to be part of such a diverse group of intelligent developers.  The processes and systems I was able to learn, provided me with advanced knowledge in the development and design of eLearning courses.  If one gets the opportunity to work with this organization, take it.  This was one of the best leadership and learning experiences I had in my career.   

Chevron Phillips Chemical

A petrochemical company with approximately 5000 employees.  The talent management leader for which I had the pleasure of working, was intelligent, respectful, and open to new and innovative ways to work with HRIS systems and processes.  This leader was instrumental in creating performance management steps that were succinct and effective.  I was proud of the work and processes I was able to accomplish in a very short time-span.  This is also an organization where learning and talent development are important and valued by its leadership.


Every organization I mentioned in this article are in my top four because of the leadership interactions I had.  There are three elements consistent in each organization.  I have listed them in order of importance:

  • Respect for Employees
  • Innovation
  • Learning & Talent Development

If these three elements are missing from your organization, it is possibly the reason you are experiencing high turnover, lack of productivity, and low employee engagement.  Look up these organizations and learn more about their leadership.

Adrienne Captain, CEO & Founder, HR-OD Analytics. Real Talk from a Real Consultant:  ID, OD, and Change Management.  Visit her company page: and sign-up for one of her courses.