Developing reflective awareness amongst the youth

A global leadership education initiative is collaborating with graduate and MBA programs, colleges and high school students to unlock human potential by providing leadership training to a broad group of youthful participants, helping identify and train our future leaders. The initiative fosters a greater understanding of leadership and personal development through a transformative learning process that enhances self-awareness, self confidence, interpersonal skills and greater clarity of future challenges and goals.

The demand for leadership education and development is often met by specialized institutions, such as the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), as well as a variety of consultants and training organizations outside the formal management education space occupied by business schools.

There is a significant role for educational institutions to contribute more in preparing young adults with soft skills and real-life experiences. Colleges and universities in particular are a critical focal point where young professionals may be helped to achieve their potential. Accelerated learning and experience for young professionals as they transition from educational institutions and into the workplace equally deserve further attention. However, corporations should also provide more support and coaching to facilitate the development of future leaders and managers.

As an example, two coaches affiliated with CCL conducted two six-hour programs for 90 Executive MBAs at S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, a leading Indian business school. Various themes were explored during the programs, including topics such as the leader and manager, the power of teams and politics, as well as highlighting the differences between critical thinking and integrated thinking, which seeks to integrate new perspectives and knowledge to arrive at a fuller understanding of leadership.

Participants were further provided the opportunity to practice giving feedback with an accountability partner before ending the session with an adapted Wheel of Life exercise that enables participants to trace gaps between what is and what they desire for themselves, such as balance with work and no-work activities, awareness of mindset, and satisfaction with spiritual practice. For the students the program was a departure from the more familiar terrain of theory and case study learning. One student described the program as “a first step towards a radical change in myself.”

Finally, while educating the next generation of individual leaders is of critical importance, it’s worth remembering that leadership spans over larger social structures. Responsible leadership is a function of the individual leader (the “Me”), of responsible organizations (the “We”), and of responsible business in the larger ecosystem of investors, consumers, competitors, regulators, and other interests (the “Us”). Responsible leaders reflect a sincere commitment to a leadership for the world.


Filed in: Accompanying leaders in their transformation, Transformative Learning
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