True leadership is sharing why and how you’re trying to improve as a leader with those you’re trying to lead.— Raman Chadha (@RamanChadha) February 24, 2015
Perhaps my favorite new thing to do is giving talks on "The JuntoExperience" to the employees of companies enrolled in Junto.
Late last year, Jesse McCabe of Solid Interactive (JuntoII) suggested that we do this so that the company's teams have a shared understanding of what their founders and leaders do in Junto. In Jesse's experience, and those of other JuntoAlumni, their employees were broadly aware of Junto: the word appeared on the leaders' calendars, they heard them utter it around the office, and perhaps they saw our social media posts talking about their employer. They may have sensed the tight bonds that form among the Apprentices, hear from their leaders how much they're learning in the program, and a few may have even attended a Class or happy hour. But, Junto remained somewhat of a "black box" or, as we've learned, may have even been perceived as a cult!
Jesse's idea was to clarify all this and have their team hear it directly from us. So in December, after Solid graduated from JuntoII, I visited their office to present in-person to their Elgin IL team, with their Portland OR team joining us via Skype.
I walked them through our curriculum, the outcomes we've had with the first two cohorts, and what they could expect from their leaders now that they had completed the program. We had a great Q&A discussion, Jesse and I agreed that it was worth the time and effort, and I told him over lunch immediately following that it would be even more effective at the start of the program.
Therefore, during our orientation for JuntoIII last month, we offered each company the opportunity to have us deliver a similar talk in their offices. Right away, we had two takers.
So we recently visited Medtelligent and TopstepTrader to present to their teams. It was a blast. Each CEO shared why he wanted his company to do Junto in the first place, and what he's hoping and expecting from the program. When our turn came, we not only talked about the curriculum but also shared what each company's team could expect as a result of their company being enrolled in Junto:
- a better and stronger workplace
- a higher likelihood of continued business growth
- improved communication and interaction
- being a part of something bigger; and
- participation in certain classes, meetings, and social outings
Right after we left the second gathering, I had a revelation. Reflecting on both talks, I concluded that the CEOs' invitation to their offices and convening their teams for a company-wide meeting - in the middle of the workday - was perhaps the best sign of leadership I had witnessed in a long time. And that it was only the first sign of things to come...for them and their teams.