Sunday, March 1, 2015

Focus Leadership Institute: What Went Wrong?

Read part 1: Requiem for the Focus Leadership Institute 
Read part 2: What Went Right

I handled alumni relations for the entire time that the Focus Leadership Institute was in decline. Because of my time in that role, I know many graduates were surprised to hear this week that the program has been discontinued.

What in the Sam Hill happened?

For those who attended back when there were more than 2 applicants for every seat, it's hard to imagine that FLI ended up struggling the way it did. But believe me, we struggled. My last few semesters, we operated with fewer than 20 students, down from a sustained high of 88 students (2000-2007). The threat of closure hung over our heads constantly.

Since our job was equipping future leaders, one last service I can do is to reflect on what caused the decline. I write about in hope that others can learn from our mistakes and avoid them.

Focus Leadership Institute: What Went Right

[If you haven't read my previous post, it's here.]

People. Will you read the comments on this Facebook post? And this one?

We sound like a cult. #kiddingnotkidding

Seriously? One semester made that much of a difference to so many people? And it sounds like nothing ever went wrong.

With the announcement that the Focus Leadership Institute is closing, it's natural that many of us are seeing our time there through rose-colored glasses.