Kappa Alpha Theta hosted its second annual CEO Leadership Academy in Los Angeles, Calif., just over a week ago. The entire ELC team was able to attend the Academy as facilitators this year, and many took away an equal amount of positive experiences and just as much knowledge as many of the college chapter chief executive officers. Inspired by the book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, this year's Academy dared college women to take a good long look at leadership as well as the term "authenticity."
At one point over the weekend-long event, the facilitators dared all chapter CEOs to define "authenticity." ELCs were able to listen in and even help form different definitions for this word, as well as discuss various examples of times when individuals were authentic. CEOs shared stories of when authenticity paid off and helped a situation, as well as times when looking back on it, being more authentic would have greatly helped a situation.
Facilitators asked follow-up questions like how CEOs would embrace vulnerability and have the courage to be imperfect. All chapter CEOs dared greatly, and had extremely authentic conversations, which led to many connections being made within small groups. Relationships were built out of understanding and support, and ELCs hoped all chapter CEOs would take what was learned and take back those lessons to every Theta chapter in the U.S. and Canada.
The ELC team was very grateful for the opportunity to have these conversations about authentic leadership with CEOs, but now we would also like to have this discussion with all Theta members!
Ask yourself these questions, or pose them at your next cabinet meeting:
- How do you define being an authentic leader?
- Is there anything that holds you back from being an authentic leader?
- How will you be courageous this year?
- How can you embrace vulnerability, every day of the year?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
After what was a long travel day for many on Friday, the CEOs had an opportunity to participate in an activity called "open space technology". This was an activity where CEOs could bring up topics they wanted to discuss with other CEOs. A few topics of conversation included campus risk management policies, officer transitions, monitoring members social media, recruitment ideas, chapter perception of MDC, and attendance policies. It was a wonderful opportunity for CEOs to exchange ideas and get perspective on what other chapters were doing.
Saturday morning came early and was packed with wonderful interactive presentations about social change and reflection on personal strengths. Prior to attending the conference, every CEO had completed a Strengths Quest assessment to understand their personal strengths as leaders and individuals. Throughout the day, CEOs were able to recognize the changes they would like to make happen within their chapter and were asked to identify the root causes of the issue and steps to make the change. The day was a combination of large group presentations by the lead presenters, Maggie Harris and Ryan O'Rourke, and small group discussions led by facilitators. The small groups sessions allowed CEOs to take what had been presented in the general sessions and discuss them on a more personal and intimate level with peers.
Speaking on behalf of myself and the two other ELCs present, it was a great opportunity to interact with CEOs we visited this semester and to connect with chapters we will be visiting in the coming months. Overall the CEO Leadership Conference was a wonderful opportunity for CEOs to connect, share, and grow as leaders. What a successful inaugural year!