Leading in an Ownership Setting: The Program for CEOs a Success

At the end of June 2012, 17 CEOs of ESOP companies from around the country participated in the first of two sessions of a leadership development program co-sponsored by the Employee Ownership Foundation and offered by the University of Pennsylvania. The program, Leading in an Ownership Setting: the Program for CEOs, received very positive reviews by all participants.  The participants included experienced CEOs, new CEOs, and senior leaders designated to become CEOs within the next few years.  Their companies ranged in size from under 50 employees to more than 4,000.

Despite their differences, participants learned a lot from one another as well as from the program faculty.  The formal sessions presented by University of Pennsylvania faculty covered topics such as the role of values in effective leadership; emotional intelligence; understanding and analyzing communication; storytelling as a leadership tool; and, leadership, motivation, and engagement. Another program element was a 360 assessment, from people in each participant’s own company, focusing on leadership practices that each participant then debriefed with an executive coach.

In addition to the formal program content, participants reported that as a result of the program design they now have a peer group of other CEOs with whom they can discuss leadership issues in their respective companies.  The group will return to the University of Pennsylvania at the end of September for the program’s second session.

Following the session, several participants joined ESOP Association President and Employee Ownership Foundation President, J. Michael Keeling, on a tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield to discuss leadership strategy.

This program is likely to be offered again beginning in the late spring or early summer of 2013.  The dates are not yet set.  If you or someone you know might be interested in attending, please contact Ginny Vanderslice (ginny@praxisCG.com; 215-653-0303) or Alan Barstow (abarstow@sas.upenn.edu; 215-898-2802) to get on the mailing list for next year’s program materials.

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