Who are you now?

On the final evening of the CAIS Leadership Institute at Shawnigan Lake last week, the LI Grads lead the crowd in a game of LI Jeopardy. In the “LI Instructors” category for 200 points was the answer: “Who are you now?” The question – and the whole crowd knew it so there was a big fight as to who would win the points – was “Who is Barry Wright?”

Over 120 people have taken Barry’s Change Leadership module over the past year, and many people have commented on how he has shaped their thinking.

So having survived the red-eye flight home, I have been reflecting on the 11 years of the LI. I have been thinking about “Who is the Leadership Institute now?”  Here are a few snap-shots.

Rodger Wright, Pat Dawson, Martha Perry and Marc Ayotte (Martha and Marc are both LI Graduates) gave amazing Art of Leadership and New Leaders Speeches. Throughout the week, I was told by different people that one of them was the highlight of their week. These speeches will be posted on our website by the end of the month.

The Next Step program began and on the first night, the group of 13 sat by a campfire sharing and critiquing their change projects until midnight. This bonding was important given that they have committed to implementing a change project and will meet as a National Cohort along with four mentors throughout the year.

For the first time, the LI also included a program for Heads and their final “Dock Talk” session was actually on the dock at Shawnigan Lake. When swimming lessons started, Dock Talk moved to the front lawn, overlooking the pond, in the sunshine and the Heads sat with “The Davids” (Robertson and Hadden) and Barry and seemed to solve every independent school challenge.

“Money and Managing Change” was the program for both the Next Step and Heads groups. The idea came from Allan Gregg’s study last fall of CAIS Heads and Chairs and their top challenges. The program centered around Switch: How to change things when change is hard and I liked catching glimpses of that blue book tucked into people’s belongings.

Before leaving Shawnigan, a few graduates made a point of asking about the future – how could they maintain a national network?  What modules would we offer next year so they could return?

I love thinking about the growth of the LI. And if who it has become now is any indication of who it will become in the future, we should all be excited.

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