One of the most valuable activities we’ve completed so far in EML is the Professional Development Plan (PDP). This spring, on a Saturday morning, we gathered as a cohort to talk through just what a PDP is and how to get started. Several members asked: How will I apply this to my leadership path? and How can a PDP help at this stage in my career? As a leadership coach, having found that writing goals makes them infinitely more attainable, I was intrigued.
EML teaches us all aspects of leadership. We begin the program concentrating on our individual leadership styles and then build into strategies for the organization and beyond. We ask ourselves the hard questions of what is leadership and how can we be the best version of ourselves in a leadership role. We discuss how to build on what we know and challenge ourselves to realize there is always more to learn.
Recognizing opportunities for ourselves to be challenged and make change is important to assure our lives evolve professionally and personally. We often recite the EML mantra that we should be “comfortable being uncomfortable”.
The EML program foundational learning is centered on transformational and transactional leadership through a process of understanding internal strengths and challenges that guide and influence actions. The EML program provides a curriculum with a conceptual and experiential framework that informs ways of thinking that can address and solve complex work and human capital issues. Many graduates and current EML students have, no doubt, recognized and internalized the importance of supporting and managing their largest organizational asset: human capital. COVID-19 has challenged our personal and professional lives in ways many of us could not have previously imagined and forced us to reckon with our own concern for safety while fostering a community that embraces the safety of others.
I started with the City of El Segundo in 2017, just six months after completing EML. The City of El Segundo maintains an All-Hazards Incident Management Team. We are arguably the smallest jurisdiction in the country to have such a team. Without EML, I do not believe I would have had the leadership skills to influence the city leadership to commit the time and resources necessary to build such a team. It is pretty amazing that the preparedness of El Segundo is intrinsically tied to the success of the EML program.
As our Country enters into the third week of the Black Lives Matter Movement ignited by back-to-back acts of police brutality on unarmed black people it remains a magnified movement today. The recent loss of the life of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, has quickly escalated into the renewal of raising our consciousness for the need to dismantle white supremacy and systemic racism. A movement that is long overdue, wouldn’t you agree? As leaders today, we have a duty to incorporate daily practices that both addresses and supports the Black Lives Matter movement for the long haul.