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Helping leaders to help companies advance

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Posted by: Bernie Dagenais on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 2:00:00 pm

                  It still surprises me when I hear about managers who don’t seem to understand the importance of setting a positive tone, make a point of getting to know the people who work with them and don’t seem to particularly care about what their direct reports are thinking or feeling.

But they are still out there and even the best-intentioned supervisors can’t be expected to fully understand how to bring out the best in the people around them without help. That’s where leadership development programs come in.

My first leadership training program for newspaper editors came at the hands of the Virginia Press Association. My employer at the time paid for me to attend the two-day session in Richmond, VA. I had already been a manager at two previous jobs and, like many, I had taken lessons from leaders who had helped me to do my best work and learned on the job. Twenty five years later, I still remember and use some of the principles that were taught. I found that I learned not only from the trainer, but also from my fellow classmates, who were dealing with many of the same issues I faced.

More than 200 employees from a variety of companies have been through our leadership and mentoring programs in the eight years since I have been involved with the Chamber.  Recently, a Leadership Main Line graduate told me about how she gained the confidence to apply for board of directors’ role with a nonprofit organization she admired. Another told me he had used the program to get beyond his tendency toward being an introvert, which he felt had held him back on his climb up the corporate ladder. And a third talked about how she had worked with her supervisor on career planning – something she would not have asked for in the past.

While I’m always careful not to promise that our leadership programs will be life-changing, for some individuals, they are. What I do promise is the opportunity to reflect on leadership, develop language and knowledge about how to inspire others to do their best work and to learn directly from successful CEOs.

This fall, The Main Line Chamber of Commerce is preparing to roll out a new leadership program called Leadership Principles & Profiles, which will be taught during a series of four, monthly day-long training programs from September through December. This program will offer conversations with inspiring leaders, skills training and in-depth sessions on crafting a vision, building alignment and championing execution.  The Everything DiSC® Work of Leaders™ Profile will be an essential part of the program.

This program is for anyone, from front-line manager to vice president, who manages people or is on a path to leadership. Participants will come away with a network of fellow leaders, improved understanding of effective leadership and enhanced leadership skills, along with opportunities for continuous learning and improvement. (See page three for more details.)

  I invite anyone who would like to gain a greater understanding of how our leadership programs work to contact me directly, as we continue to evolve one of the Chamber’s most impactful areas of work.

 To read the entire August issue of the Main Line Business Monthly please click here

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