GIC Leadership Mastery Program
Emerging Leaders Pushing Limits
A key component of self-assessment is knowing who you are as a leader. Self-discovery is a difficult task and often requires assistance. The Leadership Mastery group per the design of Rita and Lorraine used the assessment tool, Lumina Spark to learn more about their personalities and guide them through this process.
Frank Granara Jr. from the Malden branch and Quinn Densley from the Las Vegas branch attribute much of their ability to self-assess from the Lumina Spark assessment. It provided the two with a framework to assess their progress through the Leadership Mastery program.
About Lumina Spark:
This program is completed over 3 days and is “highly interactive and fun experiences in which learners explore who they are, using an individualized psychometric profile tool called a Lumina Portrait.” It creates a colorful wheel to help users better understand their personalities and relationships in the business world. This model can applied to learner’s professional career as a resource for better business practices. This frame work is utilized by many Fortune 500 companies.
Our first Leadership Academy session started with several assessments comprised of both self and 360-degree assessments. One of those assessments was the Lumina Spark, which identifies strengths and displays them in colors.
I was not the only person in the room that thought my results were wrong when I first received them. I had always diagnosed myself as a practical, evidence-based manager. Those characteristics show up as the color blue in the Lumina Spark assessment. My biggest weakness, I thought, was my creativity. The word creativity scared me. I remember a class in college called “The Creative Process.” My friends recommended it to me because they said all we had to do is go on stage during class and do “whatever you want” to express yourself. The thought of getting on stage petrified me so, of course, I stayed within my comfort zone and avoided the class. I felt the color yellow, which signifies “imaginative and spontaneous” in the Lumina Spark assessment symbolized my weakness. “Surely I won’t see too much yellow on my color lens,” I thought. Well, wasn’t I surprised when my results looked like this?
The color blue was in fact my smallest splash. Green and Yellow were my two largest. I realized after seeing those results I am much more spontaneous than I thought and didn’t completely lack creativity either.
Our second session in Orlando gave me an opportunity to practice some creativity by entering onto the thing that I vowed to avoid – the stage. We went to an improvisation asylum and practiced improv with one another. It turned out to be a blast. I liked it so much when I got home to Boston I went to a local improve asylum.
I might have avoided the stage for the rest of my life if the LM program hadn’t forced it upon me. Before they threw me on stage, however, they gave me the confidence to attack my fear by going through the assessments and showing that I had these strengths inside me all along. It was honestly a great feeling and I wanted to give that feeling to my own team as well.
I learned that two of my biggest strengths were “the emphasis I put on teamwork and cooperation” and “finding unconventional ways to work around bureaucratic obstacles to progress”. Wanting to take my own learning from the assessment sessions, I decided to put those tools to work on my team and push them outside their own comfort zones.
“After this process I feel like I’m a better leader to my team.”
I asked each member of my team to take on new responsibilities in the office, be it purchasing material from a new vendor or analyzing a sales report they haven’t seen before. I have taken them to dinners outside their normal venues and had one particular team member even try three types of food he had never had before, all in one meal. I arranged a surprise kayak trip for my team and found out almost half of them had never been on a kayak.
What has it all amounted to? Through my own look in the mirror and learning new things about myself, I feel like I’m a better leader to my people. It has resulted in less complacency at work. As author and business leader David Cottrell says, “complacency is the root of mediocrity”. My team is not mediocre. And I have the LM program to thank for that.
–Frank Granara Jr., Manager, Malden Branch
Two years ago I came to the realization that I needed to change. I was unhealthy and unhappy, but I didn’t know how nor did I have the courage to change.
At the beginning of the Leadership Mastery (LM) program I was invited to take a Lumina Spark assessment. This assessment gave a realistic and in some ways surprising view of who I am. In addition to the assessments, I was asked to begin developing goals for all aspects of my life.
During regular coaching sessions I was invited to share my goals and was both encouraged to pursue them, while also challenged when they did not stretch me enough. What I discovered about myself through these coaching sessions was that in the past setting goals was private and not something that I discussed with others. By not sharing my goals with others I was “safe” and if no one knew about them and I didn’t achieve them, it really wasn’t important.
I quickly learned that by sharing my goals with others and discussing them openly with an intimate coaching group I was personally held to a higher standard. It forced me to dive deeper into internal reflection, gave me a higher sense of commitment, and caused me to be brutally honest with myself.
I learned how to be more realistic with myself and set better goals. Initially, some goals were nothing more than “fluff” and really had no bearing in making me a better person or a better leader. I learned to tie my goals to my personal values and standards to make them powerful and long lasting.
Throughout the LM program my reaction to the feedback in assessments, whether written or verbal, changed from being defensive to actually listening. In fact, towards the end of the program I initiated my own “feed forward” advice from my coworkers and peers. Much of their input was brutally honest and, where previously I would have reacted negatively, now I looked at it honestly and had non-threatening, constructive discussions with them.
“Becoming honest with the man in the mirror has helped me become a better leader.”
–Quinn Densley, Branch Manager Las Vegas
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to highlight similar learning through this blog series, “Emerging Leaders Pushing Limits”. We’re confident you will enjoy reading, about their journey as you take their learning and apply it to yourself.
We Challenge you to Push your Limits.
Lorraine Grubbs and Rita Bailey
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