Developing Future Leaders in Environment & Energy

One of my highlights from 2009 was heading up Paragon Leadership’s Environment & Energy Epprentice Leadership Experience.  A nice summary is posted on one of our non-profit partner’s web sites, the Michigan Municipal League.

One of the coaching strategies we utilized, often referred to as ‘action learning’ put a diverse team of energy professionals and students to work on a real world challenge.  And while they worked through their ‘green’ challenge, I was their guide on the side, helping them to bring forth their best ability to influence and lead – individually and as a team.

The rigor was intense, therefore the learning opportunity was also.  By not telling the team what to do, but helping them with coaching tactics such as:  offering ideas, providing a structure for giving feedback to each other, stopping the action and giving them time and questions to be reflective, participants can decide for themselves the best way to approach leadership.  Learning by doing is one of life’s best way’s of teaching.  Most of us wouldn’t have learned how to ride a bike if not for this.  I consider the role of a coach to be helping the new rider beside the bike until they have the feel of balance and can zoom off on their own.

In today’s fast paced world, there is a need more and more for people who can think and act quickly to get things done and bring people together to solve problems.  By doing this for emerging leaders who are impacting our environment, it is truly rewarding, all the way around.