This summer has flown by! Here in the U.S., it is once again time for kids to head back to school. Not having kids myself, I know it is coming because of the newly minted billboards and hundreds of TV advertisements for school supplies. They’re everywhere! I didn’t know that a Wii game system could actually be considered a back to school necessity! But for seven of us “GLPers,” our semester is just wrapping up, with a 4,500 word paper no less!
GLP is short for Global Leadership Program, or if you are from the U.K., Global Leadership Programme. The program is designed for aspiring future leaders. The aim is to allow us to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to translate strategy and move the organization forward. One of the ways this is accomplished is through Guided Learning Hours. On July 8 through 12, all seven delegates representing BFDS, IFDS Canada, IFDS UK and IFDS Percana, came to Boston Financial’s Quincy and Canton facilities for a week of learning about “What Leaders Do”. This was the second phase, or semester as I like to call it, of the five phase program. In each phase we spend time learning about the nuances of the particular “DS” we are visiting through interactions with their leadership team. Additionally, we focus dedicated classroom time on particular topics. As you probably guessed, our week in July was dedicated to Leaders and Culture.
We had a wonderful kick-off to the session by having Alison Quirk, executive vice president at State Street Corporation in charge of human resources and corporate citizenship, come in for an informal lunch session. Alison brought the discussion from theoretical to practical by talking about her own experiences on her way to a top leadership position at one of the largest, most prestigious (and I am not saying that just because they are one of our parents) financial services firms. She reflected on her time here at Boston Financial, what she learned while actually working herself out of a job during a corporate merger, and the importance of mentors and champions. I would be remiss if I did not mention her thoughts on women and leadership. It was truly an inspirational way to begin the week.
The program is intended to be equivalent to an Executive MBA caliber studies. Therefore, it must be benchmarked against an external professional qualification. We are expected to demonstrate high levels of knowledge, judgment and practical application. In order to do this in a tangible, evidenced fashion, there are four individual assignments and one group dissertation. You heard me right, four 4,500 word papers and one 15,000 word group paper!
The first paper was a reflection on my own development plan while in the program. This second one is a team assessment. I spent time in Canada learning about the IFDS Client Experience Team. Right now I am in the throes of writing 20 pages about what I learned, how it applies to team and leader theories, and what recommendations I would have to improve the team. Even though I curse these papers every time I am doing them, I have to admit, I get a lot out of them when they are done.
So, with only a few days left for the second assignment, I am back to it. I’ll let you know how it goes!