On Thursday, June 1st and Friday, June 2nd, the 53 Fellows went to the Center for Creative Leadership for the two-day Leonard Kaplan Leadership Institute (LKLI). On day one, John Ryan, President and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership, gave a welcoming speech and encouraged the Fellows to develop the leadership skills that “this century needs.”
Marin Burton, Susan Reinecke, Monique Steele, and Michael DePass facilitated leadership experiential activities, reflective moments, and various training modules that helped prepare the Fellows for their internships. Although several Fellows had begun their respective internships prior to attended the LKLI, many were getting ready to begin at their internship site the following Monday. On Friday morning, June 2, guest Ron Lawrence, Vice President of Global Talent Management at VF Corporation, addressed the Fellows with information about VF Corporation and advice on how to successfully complete their internships, which are 10-week interviews.
The impact of this experience was across the board meaningful and enlightening for the Fellows. One Fellow commented, “(The LKLI) helped inspire me to want to become a leader.” Another shared, “(The LKLI) made me step outside my comfort zone and forced me to engage with my peers.” A common theme in evaluating the leadership institute was the relationships that these Fellows made with each other and with the facilitators. One of the Fellows shared that “breaking out into groups helped me see other people’s leadership style.”
At the conclusion of day two, the Fellows were charged with writing an “I will” action statement for the 10-week Fellows Program. A few “I will” statements from the Fellows included:
I will only use SBI feedback
I will continue to develop my leadership style
I will keep a growth mindset
I will be early to work every day
I will not be afraid of learning curves
I will take out time in my day to self reflect
I will continue to grow my professional and social network
I will treat each day as an opportunity to excel
For the 2nd year in a row, the Leonard Kaplan Leadership Institute created a learning environment for the Fellows to grow and recognize their leadership potential. Together, the goals of the Center for Creative Leadership and Opportunity Greensboro are to empower the Fellows with leadership skills to contribute and engage in their internships, communities, and in the world around them.
Opportunity Greensboro gives a special thanks to the Leonard Kaplan Fund for their gracious commitment to providing world-class leadership training, through the Center for Creative Leadership, to Opportunity Greensboro Fellows Program participants.