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Learning About Leadership: Surprise, Agility and Collaboration

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Imperfectly Perfect

What did I learn about leadership – and what might other NECS participants have learned? In setting aside my own narcissistic wounding, what was I being taught? Things were certainly not perfect. However, as one of our NECS participants noted, this virtual session (and frankly the entire NECS program) was “imperfectly perfect.”

Observers of the Imperfect Process

Maureen Simmons, the administrator of the NECS program, is not “officially” an executive coach. However, she is a keen observer of human behavior (as a long-time schoolteacher). She offers these insights about leadership at NECS. She is focusing on the spontaneous virtual facilitation (which she was able to observe being on a computer in Dallas Texas that was independent of my own computer):

Being that this was an Executive Coaching Summit, what I saw take place while all things went off line in Maine was inspiring to say the least.  There I sat in the “digital background” with a group of coaching professionals, some who knew each other, some who only had time to meet each other for a few minutes, and all were waiting for their online session to begin … when it didn’t.  They began a conversation independently and eloquently with each other — discussing how they could relate and use this technical breakdown incident within their own professions when coaching other executives in organizations.  As the technical breakdown continued far longer than anyone could imagine, I began to pass to the online group information that Suzi, Garry and Bill were texting me to relay to the on-line participants.  This was more discussion information and assigning Bill Carrier as the temporary leader until things went back online.

Maureen goes on to note the following:

It may not have been the originally planned agenda for the first hour of this V-NECS, but it was inspiring to view (from the background) nevertheless.  These amazing participants stepped up without a blink of an eye and began not only their own conversations, but the suggested discussions from the Maine Team that were deep and inspiring.  I guess sometimes the best laid plans do not work out, but if you are in a room full of executive coaches — this is not a problem at all!

I also asked one of my colleagues, Garry Schleifer (one of the co-planners and facilitators of NECS) to offer his description of the leadership and learning that took place at the summit. I briefly interviewed Garry and transferred the video recording of this interview to Vimeo. Here is the interview (complete with the dropping of my computer-based video camera at the end of the session—this final event is left in this recording as a homage to technological glitches!!):


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