After graduation in August I was armed with a binder full of new ideas, concepts, practices and formulas on how to be an effective leader. I found it easy to be intentional during the program which was fueled by my own enthusiasm and frequent and very useful check-ins from my coaches. New actions and practices became part of my routine and clearly validated what we had learned during our sessions together. I was feeling good and well on my way to being a more effective leader! Transformed and my mission accomplished!!
Leadership Program Reflection
Before the winter break, I spent some time considering who would make a great example of leadership for my reflection. I kept coming back to the idea of describing my friend David, who was once a colleague of mine at another university. Over the years, we’ve kept in touch on a regular basis, and kept up with each other’s professional journeys. My work used to intersect with his department frequently, and we had long ago developed a habit of seeking each other’s constructive feedback.
At the end of October, I returned to my alma mater, Earlham College, for homecoming festivities, Alumni Council meetings, and related events. What really struck me about the extended weekend was how the theme of “connections” was constantly evident.
I am constantly looking for new leadership lessons. When I am a student or trainee, I observe how the instructor structures the class, presents information, and keeps the room engaged. As a sports fan, I pay attention to how a coach organizes the team, creates energy toward a shared goal, and adapts to change. Over the last year, I have had one of the richest opportunities as my wife and I began raising our first child, Winnie, who recently turned one.
My reflection is around a change in behavior and stretching out of my comfort zone. Feedback is truly the gift that keeps giving. I was given an opportunity to apply what I had learned shortly after MOR Session 1 (ready or not). This opportunity presented itself the day after I returned to the office in fact! Thankfully I was better focused, refreshed and better prepared with new ideas and self-prompted different ways of thinking that allowed me to respond in a different way than I normally would.
A Leadership Reflection
Last week I attended two retirement parties. As I reflected about them afterwards, there were a few key points that they made during their speeches that I would like to share with the group.
Trust is so important. Establishing an environment of trust-based relationships encourages creativity, self initiative, and incredible productivity fostered by a safe culture without fear or politics. When you trust, you are motivated by a desire to help others and advance the cause without imposing your own agenda.
I would like to share my personal reflective journey to date, from the beginning. I was invited to attend the MOR Advanced Leadership Program by my CIO at the beginning of the summer. As one of the newest members of the OIT management/leadership team I immediately had two scenarios go through my mind.
My take on an application of a topic from our first session.
The Unicorn Meeting
As I sit here before our last dinner and day together as a formal group, I remember our first day together and my inherent skepticism about whether this program would be much different from other leadership programs. I seem to have neglected the obvious difference between one week long leadership programs and eight month long leadership programs in my initial assessment. Although this is a bit late from its original due date, I hope it is now a better read than its original draft state.