Blanchard Leadership Institute Fall 2021 Update

It’s been a busy fall for the Blanchard Leadership Institute. We concluded the Faculty Sprint in August and the Upper School Sprint in September and we just got underway with the Middle School Sprint last week. We’ve been busy!

But we’ve also been productive. We have no taken no less than 450 members of our community through a Developmental Sprint since the beginning of the school year. That’s a lot of potential growth happening right there. After all, that is what the Sprint is all about, utilizing researched driven, Harvard-based methodology to maximize personal growth and development. 

As author and speaker John Maxwell says, “You have the potential to transform your world. The key to unlocking your potential lies in your growth.” 

That’s exactly what we are doing here at Brookstone – fostering a culture of continuous growth.  Whether you are a teacher, administrator, or student, we are providing the tools and the methodology for our Brookstone family to become what TDE calls deliberately developmental. 

Though our entire faculty and all of the Middle and Upper School students were able to participate in a Sprint last Spring, due to COVID-19  protocols, it had to be done virtually via Zoom. Thankfully this year, we were able to conduct all Sprints in person and it was a night and day experience. Though the concepts were the same, being able to interact together in person was simply better in every way. 

So now that we have two full Sprints under our belt for Fall of 2021. Allow me to share some of the feedback we’ve received. 

The following is from our faculty:

  • “Our time together this morning was life-changing. It meant more to four people than you would ever know. It turned out to be highly personal and meaningful. I don’t think any of us went into that thinking that this would be such a life-changing thing and I thank you. It was wonderful.”
  • “To say that my peer group has been a blessing to me is an understatement!  Loved every minute we spent together….we celebrated one another’s victories along the way, and encouraged each other when things didn’t work out quite like we’d hoped. Thank you to the Blanchard Leadership Institute for investing in our growth – we are better personally and a much better institution because of this program!”    
  • “Even though I was in a group of my close co-workers, I appreciated being in this different type of environment where we were given a specific framework to discuss our weaknesses and goals. Often we feel like we have to put on our best, most efficient, and productive selves in the professional setting. This was a nice change of pace.”
  • “Anyone willing to invest in me is appreciated in my book.”
  • “For the 4th time, I had another ‘A-HA!’ moment, which is a much-needed insight for me!”
  • “I am thankful for the relationships that were built during our Sprint! Our group bonded on such a unique level and there was no hesitation from anyone to hold us all accountable if we lagged and to brag on each other when we completed a task or worked towards achieving our goals. I am grateful for this opportunity as it has helped me become more aware of the need to be ok with taking baby steps to accomplish larger goals.”  

It’s not just the faculty, however, who have grown from their Sprint experience; it’s our students, too.

It’s important to reiterate that we are the first school in the world to introduce this to students. That’s not a hyperbole, it is fact. This methodology and process has been used by TDE in companies, corporations and even educational institutions all over the world, but it has never been used with students. What we are doing is ground breaking and new in every way (another reason – Why Brookstone!), and every time we do it, we learn and grow and improve upon it the next time. 

For this Sprint, we decided to give our students a focus. They had to choose an improvement goal related to Getting Better at Connecting to Others. We gave them a more specific framework from which to work, so we think it was more effective in many ways. And the feedback seems to bear that out. Here are some of the insights our Upper School students gleaned:

  • Listening is good. People still listen to you AND you learn more. 
  • Saying hey to people and trying to get to know their names = good thing. People appreciate it.
  • It was nice to be able to talk to others in the advisory because it brings us closer.
  • If I am more perceptive, considerate and aware of other people’s feelings, I will form better, longer-lasting, and meaningful relationships. 
  • If I form solid sleep habits, I will still be able to keep up with others socially. I won’t miss out on anything by choosing to value my sleep time. 
  • Don’t be afraid of what others will think–it’s usually not as bad as we think.
  • The most powerful insight during the Sprint was talking about your story or experiences with other people. Having people encourage me and just being there to listen contributed to that insight.
  • The “Big” things at the beginning end up not so big in the long run.
  • I liked how we could relate to what other people are going through and showed empathy when they were speaking.
  • Being able to share my experiences with my group members and hearing their experiences. It helped me look at my sprint from a different perspective.

A different perspective…isn’t that indicative of growth? Thinking about your thinking, challenging the way you view situations, being vulnerable with others…these things are not easy to do at any age. But they are specifically difficult for teenagers. So we could not be more pleased at the seeds being planted and the growth happening in our students, slowly but surely, as they undergo this process once in the fall and again in the spring each year. It could simply be transformative.

More updates to come with our Middle Schoolers soon!

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