Learning to Lead
cooking classes and improv sessions have to do with training effective leaders?
Quite a bit, according to CCIM Institute Senior Instructor Walt Clements, CCIM,
who facilitated a program of 15 activities to help this year’s Jay W. Levine
Leadership Development Academy class master the art of being a leader.
skills, collaboration techniques, and creative problem solving” are necessary
skills for volunteer leaders, says Clements, especially for those who take on
the Institute’s chapter, regional, and national leadership positions.
in 2003 by Executive Vice President Susan J. Groeneveld, CCIM, the Leadership
Development Academy is named in honor of Jay W. Levine, CCIM, the Institute’s
first president and its second designee, who was instrumental in the
Institute’s creation and growth. Every year, CCIMs who complete the application
process — detailing their CCIM volunteer activity — vie for a position in the
nine-month program. This year’s 16 participants average 16 years of commercial
real estate experience and have a strong history of CCIM leadership
involvement: Six have served as CCIM regional vice presidents and 14 as chapter
Institute’s 2014 executive leadership team — President Karl Landreneau, CCIM,
President Elect Mark Macek, CCIM, and First Vice President Steven Moreira,
CCIM, are all graduates of the JWL Academy. ”I went into the program thinking
that I was going to learn about the CCIM Institute and came out of it realizing
that I had also learned a great deal about myself,” says Macek.
2014 participants agree. “JWL has definitely helped me better identify my style
of leadership,” says D’Etta Casto-DeLeon, CCIM, of Houston.
greatest overall benefit is that I will come out of this better,” says Glynnis
Fisher Levitt, CCIM, of Birmingham, Ala. “A better committee member, a better
professional, a better leader, a better thinker, a better person.”
that’s the idea, Clements says, to make CCIMs more effective leaders in their
communities and businesses, as well as in Institute positions. “Encouraging
CCIMs to be more engaged as leaders in their communities — for example, on
local planning commissions and city councils — elevates the awareness and
visibility of the CCIM designation and contributes to the greater good,” he
the JWL class of 2014 came to Institute headquarters in Chicago for their third
live session, two days of face-to-face activities that honed their creative
problem-solving skills. Academy participants shared their thoughts on the
exercises and activities, providing insights applicable to all CCIMs.
first session, an improv trainer had participants on their feet, ad-libbing
dialogue and scenes with each other. “One of the invaluable improv lessons was
learning to fully listen before responding,” says Roman Petra, CCIM, of
Orlando, Fla.“Often we assume what will be said and make statements
without first hearing the other person out.”
really is no right or wrong in improv,” adds Wolf Baschung, CCIM, of Los
Angeles. “The situation is completely open and fluid, and you have to work with
what others are doing, no matter what.”
learned to use the phrase, “Yes, and…,” to avoid making judgments, says Lydia
Bennett, CCIM, of Bellingham, Wash. “Listening actively with no judgment and
accepting everyone’s suggestions as good ideas creates a much more powerful
outcome,” she says.
mind mapping exercise augments the brainstorming step of the CCIM Negotiations
Model,” says Clements. “Each of four groups had to complete a comprehensive
mind map, addressing their specific assignment.”
technique was very interesting,” saysSue Earnest, CCIM, of Brentwood,
Tenn. “Our thoughts can be as endless as we are willing to let them be, and we,
as individuals, choose to stop the thinking. As a leader, allowing your team to
continue on with the thought process, building each idea off of the previous
thought, can open the door to many creative and great opportunities, but with
mapping techniques allowed us to build a clear picture and ideas around a
central idea. It’s a great way to organize a thought process,” says Ellen Hsu,
CCIM, of Vancouver, British Columbia.
second day ended at a local cooking school where three teams of six competed to
cook the best dinner. “I was at first very hesitant about this class event
because I do not really cook!” says Bobbi Miracle, CCIM, of Las Vegas.
“However, once we all got in the kitchen together we had a great time.”
class was amazing,” says K. “Teya” Moore, Esq., CCIM, of Bowie, Md. “Some
around the table deferred to allow others a chance to shine and demonstrate
their cooking skills — a good lesson to learn and apply in many ways under
with these live sessions, the participants are in contact virtually with their
assigned partners, through webinars, Google Hangout sessions, and group final
projects. For the final projects, the participants were divided in groups of
four. The project topics include CCIM knowledge base, networking for business
enhancement, education strategies, and mentoring opportunities for CCIMs. The
projects “will add tremendous value to the Institute,” says Clements.
most CCIM experiences, the Leadership Development Academy provides numerous
takeaways to participants.
powerful message? “A leader is a consensus of a team,” concludes Gary Hunter,
CCIM, of Seattle.
learned that we need to trust and count on each other and win as a team,” says
J. Max Hamid, CCIM, of Germantown, Tenn. “This feeling of support and trust
energizes us as we look forward to serving the Institute.”