Leadership & Reputation Academy

Last week, I changed the blog header up top to  “Technology, Leadership, Design.”  I feel that’s a better teaser for what you’ll find when you visit…

Looking back, even my tech-related musings have been more about technology leadership than pure tech — the human decisions that advance the mission of the university, college, HMO, or nonprofit.  That should drive the tech, not vice-versa.

About that Leadership thing: since early January I’ve been a part of the Schnake Turnbo Frank Leadership & Reputation Academy, Class 6.  I put my hat in the ring for Class 1 a few years back, and I finally got picked.  Our class is a total of 18 persons from a cross-section of industries in Tulsa:  pipeline companies, energy marketers, golf courses, HMOs, etc.  It’s been a charge to be a part of a group of leaders all seeking to be better, particularly the soft skills that make or break a career.

The course can be described as either a micro-Executive MBA or Leadership Tulsa on steroids.  I think the former is more dead-on, as the focus is more towards reading, case studies, lectures and guest speakers: local CEOs sharing nuggets of wisdom.  How they’ve grown as leaders, how they maintain professionalism and seek to maintain their focus.

Among the esoteric bits: learning American vs. Continental table manners, and how to properly manage a business dinner.  That session was at Tulsa Country Club and it was eye-opening: my own knife-and-fork skills were a terrible mishmash of both styles.  Jaime Curry of Sydney, Australia: wherever you are, I’m eternally in your debt for teaching me the fluidity of good knife skills at nine years old — even if I muddied it up over the years.

Initially, I questioned why STF was doing such a program.  Was it simply a way to deepen their relationship with their client companies?  But through my wife’s PR firm, I realized that small businesses especially need strategic business consulting.  Often my wife and her business partner find themselves embroiled in many issues to “right the ship” before they can get to the higher functions of public relations and marketing.  So it makes perfect sense that helping develop better corporate leaders makes for a better company.

One of my favorite Tony Robbins’ quotes talks about how you’re always prepping for the next big act in your life:

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