The Art of Leadership

Pasture near the Omega Institute, Rheinbeck, NY - taken with my iPhone.

I recently spent a week in upstate New York with an amazing teacher named Robert Gass and 24 other people, and it was a profound experience.

The Art of Leadership has informed the structure and vibe of my favourite yearly event, Web of Change since it began, and I felt I needed to take this course that so many people were recommending.

“Leadership” is a loaded word. It can either bring up images of that boss or coworker from a few years ago who inspired people to do great things and was often a joy to be around.

Or it can conjure up that person on your team with a huge sense of entitlement and not a lot of interest in effectiveness or teamwork, but very aware that they were the ‘leader’ because they were appointed such.

Briefly, if you haven’t guessed by now, the type of leadership the program tries to promote is the first one I described: getting things done while strengthening the relationships around you.

From the website of The Rockwood Leadership institute that created the course, here are five main principles that inform the course: Purpose, Vision, Partnership, Resourcefulness and Performance.

I had so many ‘wow’ and ‘ah-ha!’ moments, big and small, that I can’t even begin to describe them. We so rarely take the time to ask deeper questions about how and why we do the work we do – this program helped answer some of those questions, and posed new, more refined ones.

If you are curious to find out more, or are thinking of attending the next workshop, get in touch and I can tell you more over the phone or a coffee.

In reflecting on the impact of the week, I came to the conclusion that it was a true ‘leadership by example’ moment. The atmosphere of trust, openness and exploration was very strong, and having experienced that I don’t think any of us in the class can forget how that feels, and we will aspire to re-create it in any group we are a part of.

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Toronto, ON
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