Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review of the Leadership Development Program at the Center For Creative Leadership

I attended the LDP program at CCL in Greensboro, NC from Aug 5-9, 2013. I thought the program was excellent and I'll provide a quick review here. In case you might attend the program someday, I won't give away any spoilers or notes that might lessen the experience for you.

First, it's worth noting that Greensboro is CCL's headquarters. Maybe this is true for other locations, but it felt like a Disney experience, they planned every detail for us without making it feel "too" planned. For example, weeks before the classroom portion starts, they provide multiple lines of communication (emails, personal phone calls, etc.). Also before the classroom, you'll take several online personality assessments and request online feedback from many people you work with. 

CCL highly recommends that you stay at a local hotel known as "Proximity". It's very nice and its rumored that US Presidents have stayed there. Not only do you have your own room, there is also a suite on the first floor that is shared by all of the participants in your class. Breakfast is covered by the program and it is served on the first floor in the building connected next door. It is a full restaurant where breakfast is served (as opposed to continental or buffet). The service is great, they are very nice and the food comes amazingly fast. CCL has a bus pick up all of the participants and drive them over to CCL hq (where class is held). I never quite cracked the code, but somehow the 2 instructors know exactly when the bus is arriving and each instructor holds open a door to welcome each and every student- nice touch!

On your first day, you're in a new location that you've never seen before, so what do they do? They give a walking tour to the whole class so that you feel comfortable with the building, which is beautiful! They have local artists display in the hallways of the building, you can even purchase the art, if you'd like. 

So before you even walk in the classroom, you're feeling the quality and attention to detail of the program. It only gets better from there.

The agenda was quite a "secret", or maybe I missed it somehow. So, with respect to that, let me just say that there are 7 "experiences" that you'll have. If I told you exactly what they were, you could probably google them and somewhat ruin the excitement (and the learning opportunity). 

To give you an idea though, you'll review not 1, not 2, but 3 different personality assessments of yourself. I loved this approach because each assessment provides a different perspective for you to learn and consider. 

You'll learn a specific approach for giving feedback and you'll thoroughly practice it. 

There are two day-long experiences that you'll have that I simply can't say more than "they're amazing". Be prepared to open your mind and learn from other professionals. 

Finally, you'll have plenty of one-on-one time with an expert executive coach. Be prepared for an "a ha" moment (or two) as your coach helps you understand how to be a better leader in your own unique way. 

In the class I attended, I don't know if we were lucky or if this happens every time, but we formed an unbelievable bond as a class. We shed tears of joy together and we all hugged on the final day, it was that kind of quality experience. 

I highly recommend the course and I personally look forward to the continued friendships and the coaching that comes with the class. I think I'm already a better leader and a better person because of this experience. 

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