oikosNewsLEAP Advanced: At the outset of a life long journey

LEAP Advanced: At the outset of a life long journey

19 August 2019 | News

The LEAP Advanced is a training program designed to empower and educate better leaders for a sustainable tomorrow. Applications for the Advanced Cohort 2019/2020 are now open. In this brief article, LEAP advanced participants Gregory Vrient and Katharina Buiten describe their LEAP journey and insights on leadership.

Our journey spanned across 9 months and included monthly webinars, peer-to-peer and individual coaching calls. While the webinars provided theoretical knowledge on leadership, coaching calls and three written reflections help the participants develop their practical skills through discussions and exercises.

An unforgettable part of the program are on-site meetings, where the participants from across the globe gather together. This year, Leysin (Switzerland) and Belgrade (Serbia) were chosen as destination points of the program. Coaching team, made of former LEAP participants, put together a comprehensive agenda. Their workshops tackled subjects as diverse as conflict mediation, communications, project management, emotional awareness, and many more. We improved skills like listening, asking powerful questions, and having impactful, improved and meaningful conversations.

Leadership is not about managing others or telling them what to do. Leadership is an all-levels practice and attitude, that is meant to drive people forward and bring out the best in them. Inspiring people and encouraging them to take the initiative is a lot more effective than assigning tons of small debilitating tasks. LEAP opens up possibilities for developing this new approach towards leadership and is designed to help just about anyone to become a better leader.

Leadership is an interpersonal art, performed through communications, that aim learning about each other. But to understand others, we need to not only listen to them but also to listen to ourselves. It may not seem clear to most of us, but our actions and choices define us, as Dumbledore said. This self-definition is quite often, if not always, the fruit of our experience, our values, our principles and the reason we do everything we do – Our “Why?”. LEAP encourages us to reflect on those aspects of our life.

The most important element of the LEAP program are the people and the environment. The oikos community has this awesome power to bring together strangers and unite them around the shared passion for sustainability. This common set of values and our driving principles allow us to create a reliable, safe space, like none other, one that transcends boundaries and forges international bonds.