We talk to Dan Senter, who established the JCI UK LEAP academy in 2012.
How did the idea for LEAP first come about?
When I was the JCI Sheffield Personal Development Director in 2011 I rolled out the ‘Sheffield Academy’; a structured programme of training events held throughout the year aligned to personal and professional development. Feedback from the programme and speaking to other chambers highlighted an opportunity for the UK to run a similar National programme. Then late in 2011 whilst speaking to a former JCI UK National President we got talking about personal development and he spoke about a programme he had run to help members with their personal development; the programme was aimed at giving people a ‘leap’ into development. JCI runs a number of short duration intensive development programmes and I thought this would be a great way to deliver something to our JCI UK members, but condensed into a long weekend. I really liked the idea of the name ‘leap’ and therefore went about finding a way of incorporating it resulting in Leadership Excellence in Action Programme! LEAP was born!!
How did you go about turning that idea into reality?
JCI is a member run organisation and actively promotes its members to help take the organisation forward by offering them opportunities to make a positive impact. I had heard that each year JCI UK helps support national projects and thought that LEAP would make a great National Project. I put together a project brief and asked for some time on the first National Board agenda in 2012 to pitch the project… The board loved the idea and helped me to put a project team together. Over the next 9 months I project managed the project, with a mix of face to face and skype meetings. We all worked to secure funding, create the materials, market the event, arrange the venue, secure international trainers and finally sign up some delegates!!
What was it like to see the first academy turn out to be a huge success?
It was an amazing feeling seeing the first academy in action. The best part for me was the feedback I got from the delegates who attended and the project team who helped make it happen. Delivering on the project was proof to me of the opportunities available in JCI and the skills you can learn not just taking part in training but also helping to deliver and develop the projects to support it.
And how do you feel now LEAP is running for the third year?
Three years on I feel a real sense of pride that the programme has gone from strength to strength each year. I’m humbled by the support and enthusiasm of those involved in the project team and the energy around the programme. My vision at the start of the project was “to equip people with the skills needed to create development opportunities”. Now seeing past graduates of LEAP move in to national board roles, local leadership roles, working on the LEAP project team and achieving great things in their personal and professional lives I really feel like we have created something that delivers on the vision…
Why should JCI members attend LEAP?
LEAP is an action packed weekend of learning, fun, team working and reflection. You’ll meet new people, learn new things and more importantly be given the opportunity to put all of this into practice. We now have over 40 graduates of LEAP in JCI all going on to achieve great things and I believe this really does give you a ‘leap’ into achieving all of this!
Sign up to LEAP 2014 now: https://jciukleap2014.eventbrite.com
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Sarah Beckwith