Monday, August 1, 2016

Reflections on leadership

Before joining Ramsey County, I worked at the U of M for 17 years. One thing about higher ed is they value investing in people. Our CIO heard from other national higher ed CIOs that the IT Leaders Program (“ITLP”) from MOR Associates was a very strong program, so he put together a “pilot” group from the U of M to join other schools in an ITLP cohort. I was part of that pilot cohort, joining University of California-Berkeley, University of Washington, and Pennsylvania State University. I went through the program a second time in 2010, part of a development program for senior IT leaders at the U of M.

I had been through several leadership programs in my career, but ITLP was easily the best program I had experienced! Part of what makes ITLP stand out is the level of engagement. ITLP uses small group breakout and other exercises to engage you. By the end of the week, you feel energized but exhausted at the same time. Between sessions, you do coaching with a mentor in the program – and they encourage peer coaching so you can learn from each other. Through coaching, lessons from the program become habits.

The program updates their content every year, but the general outcomes are listed above. The program can be tailored for different levels in the organization, but the cohort I am trying to put together will be aimed at managers and team leads (i.e. not staff who are future leaders).

MOR Associates also hosts an annual leadership conference where you can “recharge” what you learned in ITLP, and bring new lessons back to your organization. Several weeks ago, I participated in this year's leadership event. At the conference, we engaged with other leaders who have been through the program. It was a very leaderful time!

Throughout the event, we also heard reflections on leadership from several CIOs in higher ed. This week, I wanted to share some of those reflections. MOR Associates posted the videos on YouTube, and I have linked to them here for you to watch:

Bruce Maas, University of Wisconsin—Madison:

Len Peters, Yale University:

Sue Workman, Case Western Reserve University:

John Gohsman, WashU:

Steve Fleagle, University of Iowa:

And this bonus video on the essence of leadership, summarized by Gen. Colin Powell:

I'm not affiliated with MOR Associates or ITLP, but I have been through the program and I think it's great. You can learn more at
image: MOR Associates (logo)

YouTube channels:
MOR Leadership
Sean McDonald
jjbpaca (Powell video)

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