Training Potential Leaders

Military Schools and universities with leadership programs have the right idea, but only if they clarify that no classroom instruction makes leaders. All they can really do is teach methods. And while that may have some value, methods themselves have very little to do with being a quality leader.

Leadership comes out of long and similar experiences. The best example is the child growing up in a family that assists the child in being responsible for themselves and others. The child does this not by being told but by experiencing this from those closest to them. The experience of being a full member of the familial group and being heard and understood is what makes a child hear and understand.

I am told I was a good listener when I was a child. And in my youth, my older brothers and sister often shared their issues with me. I listened even as I struggled to understand their troubles. I’m not sure from whence it came, but I knew as a young adult I had a philosophy I could express and apply.

This is the philosophy of dialogue. The idea is that everyone has something to say if they feel safe and in a receptive place. In small groups at my camps, the activities came from the kids in the group, not a camp director or counselor. I always understood it was my job as the leader to supply the ingredients for the activities instead of scheduling them. That was always left up to each group. If experience is the foundation of leadership, it must be personal and constant.


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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