Notes from the Field: The Leadership Circle Comes to Europe!

Jonathan Reams

Jonathan ReamsMay 12-14th saw the first certification training in Europe for Bob Anderson’s Leadership Circle (TLC – Paul Matthews and his wife Sara are taking on the challenge of opening up a franchise for the UK as TLC begins to expand worldwide. (There are also franchises opening in Australia and South Africa). This will bring access to an integrally designed 360 leadership assessment tool to a new audience here in Europe.

The challenges of educating coaches in the value of this tool is in some ways like “marketing the invisible.” How do you tell people what the core value of such a tool is when the distinctions it makes are grounded in developmental understandings of how leadership emerges? The language of looking at leadership in this way is only beginning to make its way into the public conversation so the use of more known terms is the place to start. They then act like a Trojan horse, infecting people with a deeper understanding of themselves and the world as they leave the training.

I mention this because of my own experience of telling people why I have used this tool for the past three years and not other tools that may be less of an investment and better recognized. Paul did an excellent job of making use of existing coaching networks and general outreach to bring together a very international group of participants. In addition to those from the UK, there were participants from Norway, Belgium, Spain and Turkey! The certification training took place in a beautiful setting, an old building converted into offices on 55 acres of English countryside. Windsor castle and its park were just across the road.

One thing that continues to impress me about TLC profile is how well it opens people up for authentic and transformative conversations. Watching participants spend the first day learning the background theory and workings of the profile and then spending some time debriefing with them once they received their own profiles allowed me to see again how powerful this instrument is. This brought the group into a very deep space for the second day of the training, and I could see everyone absorbing the learning with a great intensity.

While I had to leave at the end of the second day, seeing a group picture from the end of the third day allowed me to see that the deep work of the previous two days had made a real impact on everyone, as it showed in their faces. It was clear that the event was very successful, and an important milestone in opening up this part of the world to the benefits of an integral approach to leadership coaching and development.