The 10 Ten Things You Need to Know About The Center for Creative Leadership

This is the fourth of a multi-part series where I’m introducing readers to some of my favorite (as well as free) outstanding leadership development resources and experts.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know I’m a big fan of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). To me, they have always been the gold standard when it comes to credible leadership development theory and practice.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at CCL’s headquarters’ in Greensboro, North Carolina. Oh, and being the leadership development geek that I am, I had to have my picture taken in the lobby. At least I didn’t buy a tee-shirt (almost).

So what can I tell you about CCL? There’s soooo much I could share, so how about if I distill it down to a top 10 list?

The 10 ten things you need to know about The Center for Creative Leadership:

1. It all started with Vick’s VapoRub.
Seriously, it did. The inspiration and initial funding for CCL came from H. Smith Richardson Sr., founder of the Vick Chemical Co, which makes VapoRub. OK, so you don’t really need to know this, but its fun trivia for your staff meeting. Or not.

2. They’ve got a lot of really good open enrollment leadership programs.
In fact, they are THE best when it comes to pure leadership development, consistently ranked amongst the best by the Financial Times and Business Week. For a world-class simulation, try “The Looking Glass Experience”.

3. Their programs are “feedback intensive”.
If you’d prefer to keep your head comfortably buried in the sand regarding how you are perceived by others, than these are NOT the programs for you. Most CCL programs offer 360 degree assessments (some of the best), personality assessments, feedback from the class participants, from the instructors and/or coaches, as well as a heavy dose of self-reflection. Scary stuff, yes, but it’s good for you.

4. The research really is research, not marketing propaganda.
It could be because they are a non-profit, and it’s part of their mission and heritage, but CCL actually does pure leadership development research. Sure, some of it is directed towards product development, but it’s still based on solid data.

5. They’re global.
While a lot of training companies claim they are global, CCL really is. They offer leadership programs and services to a worldwide audience from CCL campuses and Network Associate locations across the Americas; Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA); Russia and across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); and Asia-Pacific (APAC). In 2007-2008, they developed leaders from more than 120 countries.

6. They do a lot of good (and no evil).
It’s not just about the bottom line with CCL. A big part of their mission and values is “to advance the understanding, practice and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide”.
One of their latest research projects is called “Leadership Beyond Boundaries” (LBB), with the goal of making leadership development more affordable and accessible.

7. They have awesome resources you can buy, including some of the best books you’ll ever find, live and on-demand webinarsLessons of Experience is a classic and a must for any leadership development practitioner.

But what about the FREE stuff?

8. Sign up for MyCCL for free, and you can connect with other leaders in the myCCL Forums; access hundreds of archived articles, white papers, reports, podcasts and more; and have the experience and resources catered to your own current developmental needs.

9. Sign up for the free Leading Effectively newsletter.

10. And last but not least, there’s social media:
Subscribe to the Leading Effectively blog, follow them on Facebook, and connect on LinkedIn.

Bonus #11: Putting Vicks Vaporub on your feet does not cure nighttime cough or toenail fungus (yuk). (-:

How about you? Anything to add? What’s your experience with CCL been like?