I will write more comprehensively about this experience in the coming days but so far this HERS Denver Summer Institute is simply outstanding. My fears about potential competition between the participants was completely unfounded. I am surrounded by smart, ambitious, motivated women who want to become better leaders. I am awed by the amount of support, advice and help that people want to provide each other. I feel so incredibly inspired.
Our teachers are almost exclusively women who have served (or are serving now) as president or chancellor of their University or College. I admire their confidence, auras of competence, experiences and successes. In watching them, I realize I need better clothes, shoes, hair, make-up, and a professional manicure. All were incredibly fashionable and universally stressed how important that could be in the external relationships they needed to foster in the community.
Today the morning sessions focused on personal and career development stemming from understanding ones MBTI Step 2 type. (Yes, I’m still a prototypic INTJ but learned that I’m an open-ended and pressure-prompted one at that). We spent a lot of time talking about how to convert our professional “responsibilities” into PAR (Problem-Action-Result) statements. This speaker, Judith Katz, one of the few women who has not been a University President, has published extensively on this technique (for example-Dissecting Accomplishments as a Career Compass). She recommends using this technique to convert a dry CV into a stunning resume of accomplishments as well as dissecting these accomplishments into one’s core skills. We will be working with these techniques in later classes in the coming days and months of the program.
The afternoon sessions focused on organizational change and using the Bolman and Deal framework to assess problematic situations. The exercises we are doing are not just theoretical. For our September meeting we are to write up a case study of a “Change Challenge” that we are either facing now or should face in our organization. I have plenty to write about. The best part is that we will receive feedback and suggestions from the cohort of HERS attendees but also a current Chancellor and people in her consulting firm who work in change management. I may yet solve my organizational issues in a positive way.