At the beginning of this month, we spent two days with LeaderShape Institute Program Coordinators. We have this meeting each year with these valuable people who partner with LeaderShape to provide the Institute experience to a particular campus, organization, or consortium. The Program Coordinator, or PC as we refer to them, manages the program logistics, recruits participants, facilitators, and guests, and is a top advocate for the program. It’s an exceptionally important role that helps LeaderShape to provide the Institute experience to students all across the country and internationally.
We interact with the PCs on an on-going basis and want the rest of the LeaderShape community to learn more about this remarkable group and their work with us. We hope you enjoy getting a look at their connection to and work with LeaderShape through their responses to some questions that we posed.
Sonja A: Cluster Facilitator at a national session in 2008
Ashleigh B: Cluster Facilitator at Boise State’s inaugural session of The LeaderShape Institute in 2009
Nadia C: In 2011 a student shared her experience after returning from a session
Waylon H: Attending Program Coordinator Training as the PC for Texas A&M University
Dawn M: Cluster Facilitator
Q: What do you like most about serving as a Program Coordinator?
Katie B: Leading a team of staff and students across South Florida that care deeply about their students and about making a lasting difference in their lives. Also, promoting a curriculum that I trust wholeheartedly is one of my favorite parts of this role.
Livy K: I get to set up the amazing transformational experience for new people to enter the LeaderShape family.
Sonja A: I value being able to provide students with an opportunity to have an experience that will give them intentional time to reflect on themselves and their life's path. I also value opening the LeaderShape community to my colleagues who serve as faculty for the Institute.
Ashleigh B: The role allows me to connect with my strengths with an experience that is powerful for students. I also love the opportunity to learn from other practitioners through PC Training and the Co-Leads during the week.
Q: What are people most surprised about when they participate in The LeaderShape Institute?
Dawn M: Our participants always describe how surprised they were that they were able to connect so deeply to their family cluster. Personal sharing is modeled as a part of the process, and a safe yet challenging environment is created to do so productively.
Waylon H: I think people are most surprised by how deep conversations can get and how close to home some of the activities hit students.
Katie B: Participants and faculty seem to be the most surprised that no matter how many other leadership training opportunities they have had, they leave LeaderShape more “rocked”, changed, moved, and seemingly energized to follow through on their vision.
Ashleigh B: That’s it is not all “kumbayah” around the camp fire. They are challenged in ways they never expected and make meaningful connections to other students who seem very different from them.
Sonja A: The community and relationships that are built in such a short time frame.
Livy K: The Cluster Facilitators always think that they are just donating their time for students to grow, but they personally benefit from the personal reflection and professional development provided by their staff role.
Q: What would you say to someone to encourage them to attend The LeaderShape Institute?
Nadia C: The LeaderShape experience gives you direction. If you haven’t put much thought towards how you’d make your mark on the world, LeaderShape encourages and challenges you to do so. You also learn how to become a more effective leader in your own right. From personal feedback to group discussions on hot topic issues, LeaderShape covers it all.
Dawn M: The LeaderShape curriculum will challenge you to think critically about the things you are most passionate about, while empowering and preparing you to take action – even if it seems like the impact will be small, it’s all about the ripple effect!
Livy K: This is an invaluable opportunity to step back and reflect on where you come from, strengths that you have to offer, what you want to devote your time to, how to find partners for positive change, and how each individual can impact the world in amazing ways. Take the plunge and enter a close-knit community of motivated people looking to improve the world, one day at a time.
Ashleigh B: Just do it. If you don’t think you are a leader, do it. If you think you ARE a leader, do it. If you are afraid to do it, do it. If you are unsure, do it. Just do it.
Q: What is your hope for participants when they attend The LeaderShape Institute?
Sonja A: I hope they learn something new about themselves, form a relationship with someone who they would not have in the past, and learn a process of visioning and goal setting that they can apply to multiple facets of their life.
Waylon H: My highest hope for participants is that they learn something new about themselves. Through critical thought and reflection I hope participants really think about the world they want and why they want it. I hope they invest in the experience, engage in discussion, and listen intently.
Nadia C: That they leave changed for the better; encouraged and motivated. And that they realize that they don’t have to be Oprah or Gandhi to make their mark on the world.
Katie B: That they leave on fire for the vision of LeaderShape, specifically, an understanding and passion for leading with a healthy disregard for the impossible. A belief in possibility.