The FCB Network has organized a Lasker Leadership Program again this year, bringing together leaders from various local agencies from the FCB Global Network to enhance their leadership skills. And to be a good leader means to have a visionary view of business, to motivate colleagues, to believe in them and to support them, to be courageous, determined and to make difficult decisions, and to constantly invest in your training and new knowledge. In short, being a good leader means: "being able to reach and escape and be in a terrible place". The program was named after FCB founder Albert Lasker, who believed that there were skills that could be perfected so that they can help with organizing teams and solving clients' problems and requests. And to make that possible, a super fun and useful program was designed.
This year, FCB Afirma Account Director Dusan Stankovic had the opportunity to be part of this program in Lisbon.
We asked him to share his experience with us.
Let's hear first impressions, who was there, what were you doing, tell us something about the organization?
It was a great honor for me to be selected to represent FCB Afirma on the most exceptional program organized by the FCB Network and to be among the outstanding colleagues, leaders in their agencies, people who, on a daily basis, create the path of our network and contribute to the outstanding results the network has achieved in recent years.
The Lasker Leadership Program itself was launched by the FCB Global Network last year so that leaders, globally recognized by their FCB Network member agencies, can refine their leadership skills. The program was attended by thirty leaders from all over the world, and together, through a mix of theoretical lectures and various exercises and assignments that we, individually or as a group, had to do, we had the opportunity to learn, gain new knowledge and share experiences. The main goal was to focus on ourselves, in order to get to know our strengths and weaknesses as leaders. It turns out that we all face similar challenges and share more commonalities than we could have guessed.
Everything was organized in a perfect way, from lodging, through day courses, to evening team building, competitions and socializing.
What is the relationship between Shakespeare and working with prisoners with the program you went through?
The program lasted five days, with three days of full-day lectures and workshops. The main topics were Inspirational Leadership addressed through Shakespeare's drama Henry V, Journey to the Throne, where we defined leadership goals and inner voices/weaknesses that we needed to overcome on the leadership path, Orchestrating Leadership, learning leadership skills through the orchestra conducting and retreat parallels between the skills needed by leaders and conductors to successfully conduct their orchestras, and storytelling.
I share the impression from all participants that the most impressive part of the program was Journey to the Throne. Thanks to incredible mentors, world-renowned coaches with exceptional experience in the field (one of them, for example, has worked with prisoners preparing for parole), it all had the sound of mild psychotherapy. The aim was to reach the throne of leadership in the "circles of trust", where each of the participants played defined roles in helping others overcome their "inner voices".
Working in small groups, in specially tailored and soundproof rooms, with the support of our mentors, has helped us realize our deep-seated fears and weaknesses that keep us from being even better leaders.
It was a very personal experience, an infrequent return to childhood, school days, relationships with loved ones, which caused many tears, pain, and finally, accepting and overcoming weaknesses, great relief and joy. A truly memorable experience.
Do you and your colleagues at the FCB network already have a plan for conquering the world?
The true wealth of the network is best seen at gatherings of this kind. The diversity in the jobs we do, and there were colleagues from the creative sector, the account sector and agency management, the responsibilities we have, the clients we cover, all of which were ultimately less significant than everyone being very open to collaboration, to share experiences, to help with the various tasks ahead.
It can truly be said that we came as strangers and that we parted as friends who will always be support to each other in the FCB network.
The result of this friendship is the common idea that originated on Lasker Night of Fado Music, that we all start together and participate in the realization of a large, globally significant, project that will simultaneously contribute to the promotion of the FCB network.
The first steps in realizing this idea have already been taken.
Was there something cooking behind the scenes?
All the days of the Lasker program were phenomenally designed and filled with different activities, from welcome cocktails, nights of Fado music, city tours, etc. One, in particular, would be the evening when we competed in cooking at a beautiful restaurant looking at the Atlantic Ocean. We were divided into five groups, we had the same foods available, the help of restaurant chefs, and the task of preparing one of our traditional Portuguese dishes in our own way. I bravely accepted the challenge of being the leader of one of the teams. The competition was fierce, the fight lasted until the last minutes we had at our disposal, and in the end, the other team won, supported by colleagues who organized the program. Well, let's just say it was well deserved. :) In the end, though, we were all happy that there was something that the chefs had prepared us for dinner. :)
Will you treat your team members as prisoners in the future? :) Joke aside, what do you plan to apply immediately when working with colleagues?
There is a lot of new knowledge that I have gained from the Lasker leadership program that can be applied immediately in my daily work, communication with clients and colleagues, project presentations, etc. However, the most significant knowledge I carry from the program is about knowing our own strengths and weaknesses, those intrinsic, profound characteristics that drive us and make us the person we are and the need to constantly work on it and develop in order to continually advance as leaders. The acquaintance with other colleagues from the FCB network is priceless.
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