A capstone of the Fellows Program is a 2-day tailored training through the Leonard Kaplan Leadership Institute at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). CCL is a top-ranked, global provider of leadership development. During this training, the Fellows learn how to identify elements and drivers of effective leadership, maximize their leadership capacity, address personal leadership challenges, and give and receive feedback. Below is a post by Lulu Priddy, a 2018 Fellow, on her experience at CCL:
The Center for Creative Leadership: A Reflection
Written by Lulu Priddy, Public Art Intern, Downtown Greenway – Action Greensboro
The Center for Creative Leadership’s Leadership Essentials Program through the Leonard Kaplan Leadership Institute is not only a mouthful, but a misnomer. This two-day training program facilitated through workshops, exercises, games, and reflection was much more than a means of building leadership skills.
I did not know what to expect in the days leading up to CCL because I had never heard of anything quite like it before. As we arrived on the campus, and the CCL building emerged out of the trees like some kind of hidden temple, I was nervous but excited. We were greeted with fresh coffee and snacks and settled in to begin the programming. Even as our facilitators introduced our schedule I think they sold themselves short when it came to the scale of the material we would be taking in.
Over the course of two days we learned about mental models: the ingrained assumptions that often restrict us from becoming open-minded leaders. We discussed the art of communication in the work place and the nuances of facial expression and body-language. We were taught how to properly give and receive constructive feedback from our peers and superiors. And we heard Vice President of Global Talent Management at VF, Ron Lawrence, speak to us in depth about how striving for results, giving credit to your team’s accomplishments, and continuing to educate yourself are all essential if you hope to grow as a leader.
At every turn I felt I was gaining knowledge and personal tools that would allow me to grow not just as a leader, but as a student, an intern, a person, and even as a friend.
Specifically, during one activity we reflected independently on our foundational values. The room fell completely silent as we each meditated on the idea and struggled to narrow down our most meaningful personal principles to 5 values. Another exercise the following day asked us to each explore our social identities. We identified our defining characteristics, both interior and exterior, and were then encouraged to share with someone who we assumed would identify differently.
These exercises in self reflection were extremely valuable to me. They taught me that looking inward and identifying the things that are important to me are the first steps to becoming a leader— that we must first focus on being comfortable and sure of who we are before we can go on to lead those around us.
CCL is a Leadership Level Corporate Partner of the Fellows Program and has been a continued and prominent supporter since the program launched in 2016.