Leading in Leadership Development
By , Wednesday, November 03, 2021
It’s often said that the toughest test of leadership is managing through a crisis. Founded on the concept of translating military leadership principles to educate executives in the private and public sectors, Thayer Leadership has been readying corporate leaders to ace that challenge since its inception a little over a decade ago.
Then came March of 2020, when Thayer faced its own leadership litmus test. First, Covid-19 derailed a business model largely dependent on gathering corporate groups for a blend of custom in-person applied academic and experiential sessions set against the iconic backdrop of The Historic Thayer Hotel, located on the grounds of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Second, the company’s executive director and one of Thayer’s founding partners, Karen Kuhla McClone, Ph.D., who designed its curriculum and ran its programs, was sidelined by a cardiac arrest.
To have your business revenue drop to nearly nothing and a top leader suddenly out of commission was the kind of one-two punch that could have proved devastating to any business. For Thayer, however, it became something else entirely—a crucible and a testament to the level of resiliency that strong leadership development practices can provide.
“Karen built this organization, and she trained everyone on our leadership team,” says Dan Rice, president of Thayer Leadership, a West Point graduate, combat veteran and author of West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage. “When she was suddenly out for several months during a time that our whole company had to pivot, the junior leaders stepped up to continue her vision. It was a classic example of strong development, everybody responded incredibly well because she had trained them incredibly well.”
Now recovered and back at Thayer, Kuhla McClone shares that view. “When these adverse events hit, our team members were able to carry on and to reimagine the organization to serve our clients during the pandemic by pivoting to digital learning programs,” she says. “It was a demonstration that we practice what we’ve preached in terms of preparing leaders to navigate in a VUCA—Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous—environment.”
Read the full article here: https://chiefexecutive.net/leading-in-leadership-development/