Each year, UNC Charlotte sponsors a select number of employees for the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at the Center for Creative Learning in Greensboro. The application for the fall 2017 cohort opens Wednesday, Sept. 20.
The five-day program focuses on six primary competencies: self-awareness, learning agility, communication, influence, resiliency and thinking and acting systematically. Participants also have access to follow-up individual coaching sessions, an assessment to measure progress after training and access to online resources.
Since 2012, more than 25 University managers and senior-level professionals have participated in the LDP.
Among the recent participants were Christine Reed Davis, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, and Jeff Michael, director of the Urban Institute. Below, they share their experiences in the program and explain why others should consider applying.
What did you enjoy most about your time at the Center for Creative Leadership?
Michael: I really enjoyed the great mix of personal coaching and group interaction. It's rare to have a direct assessment of your individual leadership style and work habits, informed by the personal and 360 evaluations conducted online by you and your peers. The Center for Creative Leadership does a great job of simulating work situations while you are there that force you to engage with other participants and apply your learnings – about yourself and leadership in general.
What – if anything – surprised you about the experience?
Davis: What I found most surprising about the CCL experience was the level of active participation and interaction I had with my classmates and facilitators throughout the five days, which was different from other lecture-based leadership trainings I have attended. I was able to interact with each of my classmates and get to know about their experiences as leaders. These interactions helped me to see the many similarities we shared in navigating the role of leader within an organization, whether it be education, business, non-profit or military.
What about the program will be most helpful to you in your role at UNC Charlotte?
Davis: The time I spent with my professional coach was a truly eye-opening experience in recognizing where I am on the right track, and where I have opportunities for continued contemplation and development. I reflect on this almost daily since my return from the CCL experience, and I have become more cognizant and intentional with my words, actions, and applying and focusing my leadership energy.
Michael: The program gave me a clearer understanding of the challenges we all face ‘leading from the middle.’ We all must meet the demands and expectations of those around us: our supervisors, our direct reports, and even our family and friends outside of work. CCL provided practical tools for effectively responding to those challenges, and in using those tools in our daily tasks, hopefully equipping us with the means to achieve greater balance in our lives – both professionally and personally.
What would you tell others who are considering applying to CCL?
Michael: It's always easy to rationalize away a program like this – to say, "I'd like to do it, but I'm really too busy.” If you're having that debate in your head, then there's a good chance that it is indeed time for you to take that time for self-reflection and professional development.
Davis: I found CCL to be the most transformational leadership training that I have experienced in my 20-plus-year professional career, but I had to commit myself fully to the CCL program in order to get the most out of it. My advice to those considering applying to CCL would be to recognize that there is a time commitment up front and definitely through the week of the program, but the experience is most absolutely worth it in the end!
The Office of Human Resources is accepting applications through Oct.31 for the fall 2017 LDP cohort. Applicants will be notified in December if they are selected for a sponsorship, valued at $7,300. There are eight sessions offered in 2018, from January to May, and participants may choose the one that best fits their schedules.
For more information on the Leadership Development Program or requirements for participation, visit the learning and organizational development website or contact Alyson Ebaugh, director of learning and organizational development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-687-0665.