Leadership requires both competence and character. Competence comprises the knowledge, skills, and expertise required to succeed in one’s chosen endeavors. Character encompasses the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual qualities that enable individuals to build positive relationships, lead others, and achieve fulfillment in all aspects of their lives.
The Townsend Leadership Program (TLP) — created by a leadership coach, organizational consultant, psychologist, and best-selling author — helps participants to grow in both competence and character to amplify their personal, professional, and organizational performance. Research-supported, and science-driven, and biblically referenced, TLP takes a holistic approach to boosting business and leadership performance by connecting the dots between an individual’s professional and personal life.
Graduates of the program, which involves meeting in facilitated, small group format on a monthly basis, develop a balance between their personal and professional lives that is sustainable, hence delivering long-lasting results. After all, if any aspect of one’s personal life is unsettled, it distracts from one’s professional life and vice versa. Taking a relationship-focused approach both at home and work has proven to produce measurable, observable, and sustainable results. How we relate to our employees, team members, family members, and friends is critical to performance, growth, and fulfillment in all areas of our lives. Leadership studies and popular business books support this principle.
I’m a big fan of TLP. In fact, I hold an Advanced Certification in Executive Coaching from The Townsend Institute and am a Townsend-certified role-play coach. As an executive coach and performance consultant, I frequently use emotional intelligence assessments in my practice, including the Townsend Personal and Relational Assessment Tool (TPRAT), to highlight where relational growth is needed most. I am vetted and trained and embody the organization’s Competence and Character Leadership Model.
Building competence and character in a team setting
As I briefly mentioned above, TLP is conducted in a team setting. TLP Directors like myself gather people from a wide variety of industries who are committed to professional and personal growth. Each group is made up of six to ten members who meet one full day per month to support one another.
A major focus of the group involves bonding through vulnerability to achieve ongoing growth. Group members bond early on, as they openly share issues from their personal and professional lives.
Knowing what to expect from the TLP experience
If you’re considering joining a TLP group — either mine in Newport Beach, Calif., or another TLP leader’s group in a different part of the country — it’s helpful to know ahead of time that TLP is structured with a number of key components, including the following:
- Stretch Goals: At the heart of TLP are stretch goals — three big-picture goals that are important to you and likely to have significant impact on your leadership, organization, and future aspirations. These are long-range goals to be achieved within the course of the year in which your participation in TLP occurs.
- One-on-One Coaching Sessions: Monthly one-on-one coaching sessions with your TLP Director provide you with the opportunity to obtain individualized guidance.
- Monthly Homework: Assigned at the end of each group meeting, homework is set by each member. In particular, three highly specific objectives are set, which can be either professional or personal or a blend of each. These assignments are designed to help group members build skills and progress toward achieving stretch goals.
- Rotating Homework Partner: Each month you are paired with a different TLP group member to check in with one another on a weekly basis and hold one another accountable for completing the monthly homework assignment.
- Monthly Verbal Check-ins: Each month, you touch base with your TLP Director to monitor progress on individualized homework assignments, stretch goals, number of contacts with members of the group, and your overall mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual state.
- Work Group Feedback: Each team member has the opportunity to conduct a work group focusing on a specific business issue. Team members are asked to give recommendations to the presenter delivering clarity and insights and sharing personal experiences.
- Didactics: Every month, you participate electronically in practical leadership lessons taught by the founder of the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling at Concordia University. Lessons cover a variety of topics, including how to create a high-performance team culture, how to deal with negative realities, and how to develop skills for accelerating performance during difficult times.
- Process Group Experiences:These exercises are designed to help group participants develop a deeper understanding of themselves and any obstacles that may be holding them back from full and integrated leadership success.
The Bang for the Buck
The “bang for the buck” with TLP for me personally is the built-in support network of like-minded leaders who want to stretch themselves as a part of a small group.
The level of vulnerability in TLP is unparalleled compared to that of other groups in which I have participated, facilitated, or made first-hand inquiries about. Through this vulnerability, participants connect with one another on a deep level and develop personal and professional bonds they seldom, if ever, experience as leaders of organizations.
The support network you build during participation in the Townsend Leadership Program is likely to continue long after you graduate from the program, making you feel much less “lonely at the top” and feeling better equipped to conquer any challenge — personal or professional.
If you’d like to talk with me about participating in an upcoming TLP group that I direct, please use the contact form located on this site to express an interest in connecting.
About the Author: Jan Moorad, a former Deloitte management consultant and Major League Baseball team partner, is a Newport Beach, Calif.-based executive coach who helps C-Suite executives and their spouses pursue and achieve personal and professional fulfillment.