So - here I am at beautiful Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas; where I've been for 2 weeks. I attended the Army Management Staff College - Civilian Education System's Basic Course.
All in all, this was one of THE MOST productive classes I've ever been a part of. I know it's a 'buzz term', but this particular class really challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and take a more strategic look at my leadership philosophy, and how I function as a member of a team. I could go on and on, but we'd be here all week listening to all the touchy-feely-love-fest-inner-soul rantings. A litany, if you will. It was unlike any other class I'd been to. The advisers led us, but didn't instruct us. They structured us, but didn't put a strict time line on us. There was no death by PowerPoint. If anyone out there is a Department of the Army Civilian, send me a note - I'll do my commercial and persuade you to enroll! You won't be the same.
I'm getting on a plane tomorrow afternoon; look forward to my dog and my ocean view. Two weeks is a LONG time. I can't tell you how excited I am to buy groceries! Produce! A gallon of milk! Hooray!
The class was 96 people, total. However, last Monday, they divided our class into smaller groups, or 'Seminars'. I was fortunate to be in Seminar 3 - only 11 people (compared to the standard 16), and we had 3 of the most incredible advisers/instructors I've ever had the pleasure of working with. We had a project each week, and those 11 people were divided into teams. The first week, teams of 4 or 3. Great project, great team-building, and I'm proud of the product we delivered.
This week, we were in 2 groups, only. Same-type problem charge, but with different people. We delivered our product today.
In honor of 2008 International Talk Like a Pirate Day (tomorrow),
my team...the "Leavenworth Lounge Lizards of Pain", chose to deliver our final project brief...
Leavenworth Lounge Lizards of PAIN
Fort Leavenworth, September 2008
Did the project brief require a theme? No.
We, however, chose to believe in the fact that the Army - yes, THE ARMY - has a sense of humor.
We got rave reviews.
This week, my role in the brief (again, taking less of a front-row seat...wayyy outside of my comfort zone) was 'slide monkey' (you know - advancing the slides, so easy a monkey could do it?). I actually loved sitting back, letting go, and enjoying the ride. I was the recorder, so - once the briefing came 'round, my work was done.
As Claire (black suit, next to me) began our presentation and got to the team introductions, we were introduced, one by one, using...
...our Official Pirate Names.
Toma's Favorite Song Today: Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me) by The Jonas Brothers