When I was first asked to participate in the Transformational Leadership Program™ (TLP) for the Fall 2018-19 program, I was filled with excitement. This was followed shortly by one blaring question: how will I possibly find the time in my already “busy” life to commit to the TLP? It was at that moment that I took a deep breath and decided that whatever the end results, stumbles or mistakes, or the feelings of overwhelm and busy-ness – I would just take the journey. And now my TLP journey is coming to a close in September, so I feel compelled to write and reflect on my top three insights since beginning the program.
My first insight, and probably one of the biggest, came in my first TLP coaching experience on the “feedback” call. Before the call, I had completed my Myers-Briggs assessment, a Leadership Attributes Evaluation (LAE) on myself, and also asked my team members to take the anonymous LAE. While the results of the Myers-Briggs assessment were instantly shared with me, the LAE came in a well-organized summary that was shared about 24 hours before my coaching call. I was beyond eager to get the results. Little did I know the LAE Summary would tell me more than just what my team thought of me — it also reflected how well I knew myself. It dived into my strengths and weaknesses, while also providing me a perspective of how simple things like my tone of voice or how I phrased questions was being perceived by my team and overall it gave me insight into how I was being perceived as a leader, colleague and person.
My second insight was the need to bring the true, authentic ME to work. As a high extrovert (like the top of the extrovert scale), I had zero, zilch, nada interest in any kind of combining my work life with my personal life. I wanted work to be work and friends to be friends. No blurring of the lines, no crossover whatsoever. As I am writing this, I can’t help but laugh at my original views of work and friends not crossing over. It is impossible. If you are bringing your true self to your work or personal relationships the lines will be blurred. I learned that asking questions about my team members’ personal lives, sharing my weaknesses or my own personal struggles was okay, welcomed, and strengthened our team.
My third insight came when I attended the two in-person workshops. The first workshop was filled with anticipation and excitement to finally meet the other participants in the program that I had gotten to know in our virtual roundtables. It was at this workshop that I had an epiphany: I am not the only future leader experiencing struggles with business development, networking, delegating, people development, and a wide variety of other tribulations. In fact, I left the workshops with new perspectives, resources and connections with real people to help me improve on my weaknesses or roadblocks. We had developed our own honest and vulnerable culture as a cohort that you have to experience to truly understand.
I am excited (and a little sad) to see the formal TLP journey come to an end. I know that I’ll learn a lot still in our final roundtable where we will share our progress in the program and talk about what’s next. I am excited because I wonder what insights my TLP friends had throughout the program? What will those insights trigger in my own journey? Will there be more promotions to Partner to celebrate? Will firm projects change the trajectory of their firm? If you are a TLP graduate (or a current TLP leader) share your insights with us! We’d love to hear!