Community Leadership Programs

I was invited recently to deliver a half-day program for the Speakers Series conducted by Leadership Arlington. The room was full primarily of alumni from their various leadership programs. The organization generously provided each attendee with a copy of my book, Would They Call You Their Best Boss Ever? We had a great morning with lots of questions and discussion around what the best manager-leaders do and the impact they have on the contributions of their staff.

I think those who are responsible for leadership development in organizations overlook a practical and powerful way to grow their managers and high potential employees: community based leadership programs. They are all over the US and there are some in Canada too.

I have had extensive involvement with the program in my community, Leadership Fairfax Inc. I went though their Signature Program in 2004 and have since chaired the Program Committee, served on the Board of Directors, and now I facilitate a day of Open Space for their Emerging Leaders Institute class.

What do these non-profit organizations do? Here is the Leadership Fairfax mission. It captures the essence of these institutions.

To educate, prepare, inspire, and connect leaders to serve and strengthen our community.

Typically managers, high potential individual contributors, and independent professionals are enrolled in their programs which usually last 8-9 months. Participants learn about the critical issues facing their community, work in teams on a project, learn about leadership, build a strong professional network, and link up with opportunities to serve in a volunteer leadership capacity in their community.

Do check this out for yourself and for leaders and potential leaders in your enterprise. The learning is deep, diverse, and practical. And it gives your participants a way to practice, even test out, new styles and approaches that will enhance their interpersonal and leadership effectiveness.

Here’s an added bonus. By extension, through those you send, your company will be fulfilling its corporate social responsibility role, contributing to the sustainability of the community in which it operates.


To Sell Is Human What I’m Reading

First of all, I’m a Dan Pink groupie. I’ve liked everything he has written. Secondly we spend most of our waking hours influencing, cajoling, suggesting, recommending, proposing–in other words, selling. The need for selling hasn’t changed. The way it’s done certainly has. I want to understand more.