I’m really pleased to be an instructor for Rutgers CMD. The workshop content I deliver is always fun to explore with attendees; we get into interesting discussions and they are always active participants. Some of the most exciting discussions come in two workshops I facilitate: The Challenge of Leadership in the Leadership Development Series and Leadership: 360° Self Diagnostic in the Mid-Management Development curriculum.
Both of these workshops look at the role of the leader and help learners develop personal insights and skills. Attendees not only gain awareness of theories and models of leadership, but they are also challenged by the personal insights from workshop assessments.
The Challenge of Leadership
Attendees of The Challenge of Leadership complete the “Cascades Simulation,” an assessment activity that explores leadership through decision-making and interpersonal skills. I’m often struck by the process of decision-making that occurs as teams work together to make a life-or-death decision (fortunately, it’s only a simulation!). The individual and team dynamics can get pretty intense, and this always leads to a spirited debrief.
Although most teams develop a collaborative process, occasionally, a highly vocal participant will attempt to take control of the team’s decision. And this will not always lead the team to success. Frequently, quieter, deeper thinkers have a clearer assessment of the situation, and they achieve better individual results, but they may not vocalize their perspectives. In our group debrief, we explore how decision-making calls for strong interpersonal skills. Leaders with clear convictions, confidence, and courage can often overcome the less insightful, but boisterous participant.
This scenario reminds me of a comment made by Brian Mitchell, a former pro football player, during a radio broadcast. In discussing locker room leadership, Mitchell said, “Leadership does not come from the one who talks the loudest. Leadership comes from the one who performs the best.”
Leadership: 360° Self Diagnostic
What I like about the Leadership 360° Mid-Management workshop is the use of the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) as the leadership model. Attendees receive feedback from their managers, colleagues, and direct reports against the LPI model developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner in The Leadership Challenge, now in 5th edition. They learn the well-documented and evidence-based Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership via their own feedback reports:
The LPI feedback report is often the highlight for participants who may not be aware of the frequency with which they demonstrate the 30 leadership behaviors in the assessment. Many find the insights and learning experiences in the workshop to be valuable and transformational. They create personal action plans (using our insightful “Commitment to Results” forms) that help them prepare to sharpen leadership practices and behaviors based on data from their reports.
And while learner development is the most important outcome of these two leadership workshops I provide through Rutgers CMD, I gain a lot from each session. Whether in discussion with participants or in individual coaching sessions that often occur, I must say that my own insights and grasp of leadership continues to grow based on interactions with the attendees. And that is a terrific reward for me!