Reflections on the Origin Story of EO World Management Academy (GLA) — —


by Erick Slabaugh, a long-standing EO member in Seattle and former director on the EO World Board

“In case your actions encourage others to dream extra, be taught extra, do extra and develop into extra, you’re a chief.” — John Quincy Adams

As a member of EO for 25 years, I’ve had the immense privilege of partaking in numerous initiatives that reworked my very own expertise alongside the best way. One of many highest-impact highlights of my EO journey has been taking part within the creation of the EO World Management Academy (GLA).

Whereas the function I performed in launching GLA was merely performing as one brick within the wall of an attractive cathedral of management, I couldn’t assist however spend a while just lately wanting again fondly on the fantastic tales born out of the expertise.

Whether or not you could have attended EO’s Management Academies or nonetheless look ahead to the chance, the muse upon which this exceptional programme was constructed is notable. The programmes have since developed—however the authentic spirit of management, character and shared development stays totally intact. It’s a spirit that has contributed to the non-public improvement of a few of the world’s best entrepreneurs making a real influence on corporations, communities, and households throughout the globe.

The Origins

David Galbenski and I served on the EO World Board collectively in 2007. David—a very exceptional world-class chief—known as me with an thought for a “venture” he had: a condensed, high-impact management coaching programme for present and future EO World Board members. The idea was to create an academic occasion that would offer expertise and improvement for what it took to be a greater chief of a world group.

I beloved the concept and his imaginative and prescient. Nonetheless, I informed David that when it got here to my coming aboard to assist construct the programme, I had one situation: I needed authorization to recruit the Dean of the school from exterior the group.

I stated that to him with somebody particular in thoughts.

A 12 months earlier, as EO started fostering stronger collaborative bonds with WPO/YPO, I had attended the Public Coverage Discussion board, a YPO occasion in Washington, DC. There, I grew to become acquainted with Warren Rustand, who was main it. I vividly bear in mind sitting within the viewers and considering:

“This man is essentially the most inspiring thinker and speaker on management that I’ve ever seen.”

Our aim grew to become clear: to recruit Warren to function the Dean of our studying programme college.

I flew to Washington, DC, and sat down with Warren, then-EO Director Bob Strade, and Ben Richter (who additionally had a programme to pitch to Warren). Warren beloved our concepts however had a situation of his personal: He needed to incorporate Dr. Gerald Bell of the College of North Carolina’s Bell Management Institute within the programme.

Dr. Bell additionally agreed to come back on board, and all collectively, we collectively constructed the programme’s technique, construction, and content material. That’s how EO’s World Management Academy (GLA) was born.

For the primary 4 years, we had Warren Rustand for the whole programme and Dr. Bell current for a full day of management coaching. It was one of the exceptional rooms, not to mention school rooms, I had ever discovered myself facilitating.

Within the first 12 months (2008), we had a meager price range, restricted employees help, and solely seven months to tug every part collectively. Keith Williams, EVP of Studying; Chelsea Dennison, EO Workers lead; and I had US$50,000, which was one-tenth the price range American Categorical was spending on an analogous occasion. We needed to develop a minimal viable product that will “wow” the group’s prime management and show the preliminary funding worthwhile.   

We went to Andrew Sherman, EO’s authorized counsel, and requested if he would donate Jones Day’s Washington, DC, govt convention middle for 4 days. I requested three tenured EO World Board members—David Galbenski, Greg Crabtree and Jesus De La Garza—to hitch me at their very own expense as facilitators of the breakouts we deliberate. They, too, had been glad to help the trigger. 

Keith offered the imaginative and prescient of what might be and requested our audio system to scale back or waive charges. All of them did. Even a few of the venues and caterers labored with us to provide tasteful but inexpensive experiences that elevated the inaugural class’s expertise. 

The primary 12 months was successful.

Someplace across the second 12 months of the Academy, we had a sense that this programme, impactful and transformational because it was, might need the potential to serve an even bigger goal. We thought: What if we made the programme out there to different members? What if we made it out there to all EO members as a real international member profit? 

Michael Caito took over in 12 months 5, after which George Gan took the reins from there, enjoying a pivotal function in growing the programme on the regional degree. Just a few iterations later, it grew to become the EO Regional Management Academy (RLA), accessible to each area throughout 60+ nations below EO’s international umbrella.

A Want for Management

I’ve identified and deeply revered Warren Rustand for 15+ years now. Warren acknowledged early in his life that the world had a exceptional thirst and deep want for higher leaders. In what he calls the continual act of “people turning into,” Warren noticed the potential for extra people to develop into the leaders the world wanted them to be.

A lot of Warren’s methodology for impressed management comes all the way down to data and selection. Warren believes that greatness is a alternative quite than an endowment. It implies that all people, ought to they make the selection for private greatness, might develop into exceptional leaders. Warren’s most up-to-date ebook, The Chief Inside Us, echoes that perception: “We should select greatness. Folks don’t hand us greatness. We resolve to be nice after which self-discipline ourselves to be nice. It’s about alternative and self-discipline.”

I agreed with Warren on the time, however I hadn’t realized the extent to which he was proper. It appeared that because the years went on, practically in every single place I turned, I used to be uncovered to poor management at each macro and micro ranges. From the rise of situational ethics to “scotoma” (blind spots) that so many leaders appeared to have, I felt our technology of management wanted a transformative schooling.

GLA strived to organize our membership to assist them exist because the strongest exemplars of management they might probably be. The ripple results of GLA’s authentic imaginative and prescient for management improvement prolonged far past the boardroom: members discovered easy methods to be high-caliber leaders inside their households, communities, and sociological environments at giant.

Warren Rustand’s model of management has at all times prolonged wholly into the civic realm. Whereas GLA by no means inspired political motion of any variety, Warren and I shared a elementary understanding: As individuals, we reside in a city or metropolis, inside a bigger state or province, inside a bigger nation, inside a bigger world. The selection was ours. Both we might select to be a part of the management at any of these ranges, or we might select to take a seat idly by and watch these ranges worsen earlier than our very eyes. No matter “degree” of management engagement speaks to you, the aim was to serve the totality of an entrepreneur. Upon doing so, leaders are geared up and empowered to decide on to have interaction the place we’re most impressed to take action.

Accordingly, early GLA coaching periods created alternatives for brand new data acquisition and inspired people to make the selection for private greatness past one’s conventional boundaries. Warren’s model of data, greatness and self-discipline took many varieties—together with one which many EO members won’t find out about: etiquette coaching.

Shelby Scarbrough and I labored collectively to recruit a key associate, and good buddy of Shelby’s, from the Smithsonian Museum. We organized a mock State Dinner as a part of the early-day GLA expertise. It was first held on the Daughters of the American Revolution Banquet Corridor, a fully unimaginable setting that was a mockup of the White Home Eating Corridor.

The intent was to empower leaders with conventional etiquette coaching. We discovered about utilizing the best forks for the best parts of a proper dinner; easy methods to give a correct toast; the origins of the handshake and easy methods to conduct an efficient one; easy methods to leverage mnemonics to ship an efficient speech; and extra.  I’ll always remember George Gan’s toast to EO, which began out, “A rating and a few years in the past….” It was completely transferring and good.

A few of these issues have since gone away. Many people have entry to assets, teaching and coaching on etiquette components exterior of the Management Academies.

But, having the chance to interrupt down and problem our ego, construct character, be completely uncooked and uncovered, and construct again up once more isn’t one thing we will do in our common contexts and environments. It was a singular management skillset and mindset that couldn’t be acquired anyplace else—and it slowly grew to become a serious focus for GLA and RLA experiences.

Adversity exposes character. It’s exceptionally straightforward to be compassionate, loving and type when all goes nice. When all isn’t going nice, our character takes the reins on each choice, motion, and response. Character issues, and GLA continues to focus its curriculum on constructing character-driven management, which is achieved as soon as the ego will get out of our approach.

The Spirit

Whereas EO’s World Management Academy has developed, the unique spirit is completely current–and it’s a spirit of Warren Rustand himself, whose fingerprints stay deeply embedded within the Academy because it stands right this moment.

On the time, it was the highest-rated occasion in EO historical past. World Management Academy (GLA) and Regional Management Academy (RLA) stay to at the present time the highest-rated programmes provided by EO. The reason being easy: The programmes are really transformational.

And so they have developed, which is a superb factor. There are exceptional leaders throughout the globe who’ve executed an exceptional job rising the programme and cementing its future. The long run is vibrant—however the previous, and the unique spirit of GLA, are price recognizing, celebrating and sustaining.

Dave Galbenksi doesn’t obtain sufficient credit score for it, however it’s going to unquestionably go down as one of many nice concepts of his lifetime. I’m grateful for Bob Strade, who empowered us to execute on it. I’m ceaselessly indebted to Warren Rustand—not just for giving me a “sure” when he agreed to come back on board, but additionally for taking GLA properly past the place it was and for staying dedicated to constructing a legacy for EO members in every single place. He has instrumentally helped us fulfill a imaginative and prescient far exceeding what I ever thought we’d do.

As we speak, I stay extremely excited to see the following technology of imaginative and prescient that can take GLA, RLA and EO leaders to new heights. Within the act of “people turning into,” I hope that all of us make the selection to develop into higher leaders. The world wants us.

Contributed to EO by Erick Slabaugh, a long-standing member chief of EO Seattle and former director on the EO World Board, who’s a serial entrepreneur, board member and advisor. He serves because the CEO of Absco Options, a 40+ 12 months market veteran within the facility safety and fire-life security trade, in addition to CEO of FCP Perception, a cloud-based enterprise software program answer for electrical contracting companies. Erick just lately shared 5 Timeless Ideas of Entrepreneurial Success on EO’s channel.

For extra insights and inspiration from right this moment’s main entrepreneurs, take a look at EO on Inc. and extra articles from the EO weblog


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