Back to Class... for me.

Image: MS Office Imagebank
Sometimes I wonder if I have something against the concept of any free time in my life.

It's not that I don't enjoy down time, but given a chance, I'll keep my calendar full.

And I've done it again.

If you've read this blog for long, you will know that I am as equally passionate about the leadership required for delivering effective IT as I am for the process of delivery.

You also know that I strongly believe that if you are going to lead others, the more you know about yourself as a leader (and follower) enhances your ability to lead others.

With that in mind, I've signed up for a seven week course in Leading for Results presented by Willow Creek Association's Leadership Institute for Transformation (LIFT)

You may have heard of Willow Creek Association's Annual Global Leadership Summit, where they invite almost every author of the books on my bookshelf including Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins, Bill Hybels, Condoleezza Rice, Marc Keilberger, Michael Hyatt, Marcus Buckingham, Seth Godin and many others discussing effective leadership.

While taking this course won't replace actually attending a Global Leadership Summit, I'm excited about the process.  Willow Creek, which is a large church based in Illinois, has expanded their leadership training options with the LIFT program.  While many of the courses in LIFT are geared toward people in full-time church or faith based work, the Leading for Results curriculum is suited for anyone in leadership - including introverted, over analytical, technology leaders.  (I was talking about myself, but if you thought I was talking about you, it explains a lot about why you keep reading this blog).

Based on the book Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Henry Cloud, this online course puts me together with a small group of other hopeful learners from an eclectic background.

The course site is well organized and uses the Moodle platform, which from my first impressions is much easier to navigate and understand than the Lotus Notes online courses I took during my MBA program.

The course actually started yesterday, which means I've had time to view the profiles of the other students.  So far I'm not intimidated since we are all at the same place... exactly zero postings.  It won't be long before the keeners take off.

The time commitment doesn't appear to be too heavy... sacrifice a couple of TV shows a week and I'll bet I'll have more than enough time to participate, and potentially keep up in the discussion section with the rest of them.

There's a significant self reflective piece here as well, which to me is like honey to a bear.

Put all these pieces together, and it's the ideal way for a busy person to become a better leader, meet new people, learn new ideas, have their ideas challenged in a constructive environment and hopefully make things better for the people on my team.

As the course progresses, I'll let you know how it's going and share some of the key ideas from the discussions.

In the meantime let me ask you a question.

What have you done to grow your leadership skills lately?

Resources and Related Posts:
CIO Know Thyself
I Fell Off the Planet and Survived (on being an Introvert)
Willow Creek Association Leadership Institute for Transformation
Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit


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