summer 2012
news for the pacific center for leadership learning community
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Pacific Center for Leadership is a proud sponsor of the Canmore Collegiate High School Cedar Canoe Building Project.  Offering students a chance to work collaboratively, hone skills and build confidence in their abilities, the program this year resulted in the production of the two  pictured canoes - CONGRATULATIONS to team!   Through projects such as this one, the opportunity for “everyday leadership” to emerge is high for both the students and their mentors.  Enjoy the following video for an example of how our most important leadership moments can happen without us knowing (3 minutes worth investing). Everyday leadership
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”      Abraham Lincoln  
To learn more about Strengths-Based Leadership get the book and the accompanying report : Strengths-Based Leadership: great leaders, teams, and why people follow, Tom Rath and Barry Conchie (Gallup Press, 2008) Check it out
“Strengths Based Leadership” (Gallup Press) is that there is more to gain by capitalizing on your greatest talents rather than by putting the same amount of effort into an area of weakness. Individuals are encouraged to build upon their strengths and collaborate with others who have strengths different from their own.   We’ve found the notion of working from strengths, and building well rounded teams, resonates well. 
School’s out and with the end of the academic year comes the final report card. The temptation for many of us- whether going over our report card or our last performance review- is to look at where our scores are low and dedicate more time to these areas in an effort to become more “well rounded”.   A shift in this thinking, suggested by proponents of  
real results
Our Resilient Nature
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   This winter we took some time to explore the notion of building resiliency in people and organizations through the metaphor of a forest fire. The linkages led to some fascinating conversations. (check out more)     At first glance forests seem very vulnerable to a disturbance such as fire. Upon closer examination, it’s evident that many of the trees found in the forests around Banff have developed natural defenses to protect against fire, such as the thick bark of a Douglas Fir and the underground root system of the Trembling Aspen.  Like forests, successful organizations and individuals also develop systems and adaptability where they are most vulnerable, to keep them protected and functional when dealing with a disturbance.  And, like forest fires, many disturbances can lead to renewal and re-growth if they are accepted and controlled, rather than extinguished.
Resilience can be defined as the capacity of a system to absorb a disturbance or shock, and still retain its basic function and structure.
We’ve developed a number of ways to animate inventory tools (MBTI, SDI, DiSC, etc) through hands-on learning exercises that can help retain and reinforce the theory.  Not only do these activities make the connection more “sticky”, they are a great way to have fun together, while learning more about how your team works.  If your team has recently completed an inventory tool, or is interested in doing one, call us to find out how we can help you ensure you attain the best value for your investment.
 Inventory Refresher 
In May senior facilitators Mike Shaw & Colin Funk offered a signature PCFL high performing team experience to a sold out audience from Fort McMurray’s Nonprofit Sector Link.  Set in the outdoor area around Fort McMurray’s Heritage Park, this group of leaders from a variety of not-for- profit groups had the chance to work as part of a high performing team, gaining skills and insights to bring back to their own organizations.   Beginning in late summer 2012 and continuing into next spring, PCFL will be in Fort McMurray working with a variety of clients from the not-for-profit, government and private sectors. If you have a team in Fort McMurray and would like to work with our facilitators while we are in the area, contact us for more details.
 High Performing Teams
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 Upcoming  courses and workshops  
Leading in the Middle  offered by Leadership Development, The Banff Centre September 23-28 Featuring Geoff Powter, Kathi Irvine, and Colin Funk as lead faculty, leaders  will be inspired to expand beyond their defined areas of influence to connect more intentionally for greater impact across their organizations.
Creative Results Based Management October 19-21 In partnership with Dr. Phil Cox of PLAN:NET Limited,  community development practitioners and  project leaders will learn to generate rational results “road maps” to follow throughout a project life cycle.
 Creative Facilitation Oct 26-28th  A weekend of professional development for seasoned facilitators looking to expand their repertoire of interactive and arts- based facilitation processes. 
Foundations of Meeting Facilitation November 13 A day of facilitation best practices, providing tools and processes for anyone who chairs meetings, communicates with staff, or presents to clients.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • hearing from you  At PCfL we’re always committed to ensuring that our programs are designed with — and for — you. We want to hear your thoughts about your experiences with us, about what caught your attention in this newsletter, and what else you’d like to see PCfL doing now and in the future.                                                contact us If you have any thoughts about what you’ve seen here, or would like to get more information on these or any other programs, please head to our website, or call Marianne Wasch or Mike Shaw at the office (403-678-2230 or toll-free 1-800-661-9400)
Leadership Exploratoriums/Lab Nights- starting October 25th We’re excited to begin a series of five evenings to explore the evolving world of leadership through discussion, activities and idea generation.  Contact us if you would like to participate.  
 summer reading 
This spring, Center for Creative  Leadership released their Visual Explorer iPad App (  We’re excited to have this valuable tool now available for use with the iPad as we move to increased integration of interactive technology in our experiential learning activities.
A few suggestions,  taken from The Globe and Mail:  BEST SELLING BUSINESS BOOKS list: The Little Book of Behavioral Investing: How Not to Be Your  Own Worst Enemy, James Montier, John Wiley & Sons.   Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions, John P. Kotter, St. Martin’s Press. Facilitation at a Glance!: A Pocket Guide of Tools and Techniques for Effective Meeting Facilitation, Ingrid Bens, Goal/QPC. And food for thought on whether we should take time to “get organized” this summer, or kick back with that book after all, check out this article - link.
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Photo Dave Smith
Photo Leadership Wood Buffalo- launch day