06 Sep Leadership Training

Are leaders born or made? This question has been debated for as long as the topic of leadership has been considered. At the YOC we like the definition of leadership attributed to John Quincy Adams, who said,  “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” If this is true then everyone, regardless of title and position, can develop their leadership skills.

It was with this motivation in mind that we established a leadership training program that launched in the spring of 2017 with a focus on investing primarily in our front-line leaders. These individuals across campus are in daily contact with the majority of our staff members who serve our kids. Front-line supervisors have a tremendous responsibility for carrying out the mission of the YOC. Each of them receives weeks of training on the skill sets needed to work with kids. However, few have ever been trained on how to effectively lead other staff members.

We engaged Whitinger Strategic Services Managing Director, Richard Crist, to help us design and deliver a multi-session leadership course that covers the principles of leadership but also makes application of those principles in the YOC setting. The program has six two-hour sessions delivered over 12 weeks plus refresher sessions after 60 and 120 days. Program topics include: The YOC Culture and Your Role, Defining Leadership & Understanding Individuals, The Importance of Trust in Leading Effective Teams, How to Manage Conflict & Seek Consensus, Accountability & Reporting, and Developing Your People & Effective Coaching.

Once the curriculum was set, more than twenty YOC Management Team members completed the pilot course so they would know exactly what their front-line managers would be trained on. Since the first class was organized in the spring of 2017, sixty-three front-line supervisors have completed the program. Here are just a few of the comments from participants in the leadership course.

“Awesome training! it was very therapeutic for me. When I left the training and went straight into work, it made my day so much better because I was eager to want to do better and to be better. Thank you!”

“Thank you for investing in your frontline leaders and developing a program to improve the quality and culture of the organization as a whole.”

“Thank you for providing this training course. I have been putting the material to work daily with those that I influence. This training has caused me to slow down and to think more and to know my effect on others. I appreciate that and cannot wait to see the impact long term.”

The YOC Leadership Training Program was made possible by funding from generous donors through the Transforming Together Capital Campaign.

This story is part of the 2018 Summer E-Newsletter. To read other stories from this newsletter, click the links below.