Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen

Bela Jevtovic & Dr. Dan Jenkins - The Collegiate Leadership Competition

April 02, 2021 Scott J. Allen Season 1 Episode 56
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen
Bela Jevtovic & Dr. Dan Jenkins - The Collegiate Leadership Competition
Show Notes Transcript

About Bela Jevtovic  & Dr. Dan Jenkins
Bela was the founding executive director of the Collegiate Leadership Competition (CLC), and an integral force in the growth and development of the CLC.  Currently, she is
Co-Founder and Co-Owner at BiG Comm E-Commerce and serves on the CLC board. Dan is Department Chair & Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at the Univesity of Southern Maine. His most recent books were co-authored with Kathy Guthrie - The Role of Leadership Educators: Transforming Learning.  He is co-host of the Leadership Educator Podcast. Dan is also a CLC Board Member.

What is the Collegiate Leadership Competiton?
Collegiate Leadership Competition (CLC), a nonprofit founded in 2015, creates a digital practice field where students can actively apply what they learn via CLC’s global virtual competition.

Colleges and universities identify a coach and recruit teams of six students. Any student interested in practicing leadership is welcome. Throughout the experience, each team member leads one challenge and receives extensive feedback based on their performance.

The competition begins in January. Competition activities occur via Zoom. The top 25 teams with the highest cumulative point total after the first four challenges compete in the global head-to-head in April.

CLC’s curriculum explores the attributes of effective leaders, leadership/followership styles, creative problem solving, influencing others, navigating difficult conversations, conflict resolution, delegation, stressors, and effective teaming.

Academic Articles About the Collegiate Leadership Competition

  • CLC Website
  • Rosch, D. M., & Headrick, J. (2020). Competition as leadership pedagogy: An Initial Analysis of the Collegiate Leadership Competition. Journal of Leadership Education, 19(2).
  • Allen, S. J., Jenkins, D. M., & Buller, E. (2018). Reflections on how learning in other domains inform our approach to coaching leadership. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11(4), 58-64.
  • Allen, S. J. (2018). Deliberate practice: A new frontier in leadership education. Journal of Leadership Studies, 11(4), 41-43.
  • Allen, S. J., Jenkins, D. M., Krizanovic, B. (2017). Exploring Deliberate Practice & the Use of Skill Sheets in the Collegiate Leadership Competition. Journal of Leadership Education, 17(1), 28-34.
  • Allen, S. J., Schwartz, A. J., & Jenkins, D. M. (2017). Collegiate leadership competition: An opportunity for deliberate practice on the road to expertise. In S. Kempster, A. F. Turner, & G. Edwards (Eds.) Field guide to leadership development (29-43). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Resource Mentioned In This Episode

Note: Voice to text transcriptions are about 90% accurate. 

Scott Allen  0:01  
Today on Phronesis, practical wisdom for leaders, I have two fellow travelers, adventurers, we've been on a little bit of an exploration in recent years. And through this activity, through this organization called the collegiate leadership competition. And so today I have two Board Members, we're talking with Bella, we're talking with Dan. And we're talking and reflecting on some of our experiences of coaching, leadership, practicing leadership. What does a leadership competition even look like? What is that? And ultimately, this was an organization that was co-founded in with really kind of one express purpose, which was to create a practice field for leadership development. So that's what we are going to reflect on today, we're going to share what we've learned about some of our adventures, Bella has served as executive director of the CLC. And Dan, I almost read done, Dan, Dan Jenkins, has served as a coach and he's won the competition a couple of times as a coach. He's kind of a champion coach out there for leadership competitions. So to the two of you, welcome. Thanks for being here. Bela, would you say a little bit more about you?

Bela Jevtovic  1:15  
Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me on the podcast today. You know, we've been, as Scott said, we've been building this competition for the last five or six years, it's been a really interesting adventure. And we have, as Scott mentioned, I've been the executive director of CLC. It's been a really interesting five or six years where we've been building a new type of experience in leadership education. And I'm really excited to chat about this with both of you today.

Scott Allen  1:48  
Yeah. And, Dan, tell us a little bit about you, sir.

Dan Jenkins  1:51  
Sure. Scott. Yeah. So it's great to be back on the show for something else. And so I'm Geron Associate Professor of leadership and organizational studies at the University of Southern Maine. And I remember the conversation quite well going either up or down the escalator at an International Leadership Association conference. Want to say it was 2012 or 2014? At the latest and you were talking about some type of leadership Olympics, it sounded like a good idea, what would that look like, and I was sold at that point and was excited to be able to bring a vanload of students over from Maine to Ohio to participate in that, and that first one that included, you know, more than, I guess, more than two schools there in 2016. And just fell in love with the idea of leadership as a competition and as a field of competition, not only because of the competitive spirit, but also what it takes to prepare students to work in teams and, and to learn how to give feedback to each other. And now, it's exciting. And I'm excited to share a little bit about some of the experiences and everything that I love about this, this organization, and this experience for students.

Scott Allen  3:03  
Well, and what's really kind of interesting is this whole thing was founded out of the work of one at one of our guests K, Anders Ericsson, he's now passed away, but really his work around deliberate practice. And Arthur Schwartz and I were having a conversation, I think we were in San Diego. And we first just decided, Okay, let's try this. And really, how do we create a space where we can engage in deliberate practice? And a very, very simplistic definition of that? Is that a learner It doesn't matter what domain Anders Ericsson, wrote a book called Peak, we'll put it in the show notes, please read this book. But he said, Look, you know, deliberate practice, in a nutshell, it's time, repetition, real-time coaching and feedback, and working on skills outside of your current ability level. And so much of leadership development is people sitting in a room talking about it, or people in an organization practicing it. But there's no middle ground where we get real-time coaching and feedback, where we get opportunities to work on skills outside of our current ability level. And that's really what we've been exploring. So I think from maybe each of you, what are a couple of things and we could kind of go back and forth a little bit. But what are a couple of observations you've had? We're about five, five, and a half years into this little experiment. What are some observations you've had about this whole notion of coaching, leadership, leadership, competition, deliberate practice? What have you seen? What are some themes that stand up for you? Sure.

Dan Jenkins  4:35  
I think that first of all, it works. somehow, some way. I think maybe it was, it was a surprise. And in some forms, just how responsive students were to this idea because it was a brand new endeavor. You know, we were entered into a domain that hadn't been explored before. I mean, certainly, teams compete, but But they compete with more of a very structured, you know, sport, there are points, there are scores, there's, you know, roebucks, and things of that nature. So, so much of this was organic and, and was based on a, you know, pathway of continuous improvement and getting feedback from students getting feedback from coaches. And what I've definitely found is, you know, it's in addition to building the skills, it's, it's spending time developing students and how to work with each other, and how to build relationships with one another. And at any time that you know, as a coach of students, and I've had students that have, you know, they've ranged from 18 to 68. You know, I've had undergrad and grad students working together, students in different majors and minors, and you name it, and, you know, and it doesn't make a difference, as long as you focus on, you know, what does it take to get these folks to talk to each other, to develop their communication skills to trust each other. And then I would say that you know, the foundational elements of the competition, which are extremely important, because it provides this common language around leadership and followership, and groups, and teams, and setting goals and giving feedback. And those are all essential, it's this, it's this, you know, special recipe of, of using that as a foundational, you know, a springboard for entering into a trusted, you know, team relationship that develops, you know, and whether students have met each other before and never seen each other on this earth prior. Taking them through these developmental stages, you can just see how excited they get when they're able to perform as extreme as a high-performing team, by the time of the competition.

Scott Allen  6:36  
Exactly. And so Bela, maybe share a little bit about because you served as executive director of this organization, the first, you took this huge leap and said, Yes, I will help build this organization. And this organization is where it is because of you. Tell listeners a little bit about how it's structured. And then maybe what are some observations you've had, as you've kind of been so integral in the development of this organization?

Bela Jevtovic  7:03  
Absolutely. You know, so as the two of you know, our structure has changed a little bit in this past year, because we're in the midst of a pandemic, and a lot of things around us are currently changing. So this year, we're using a more virtual approach. And we are doing our best to design an experience where students can get together in a safe way. And so practice leadership, but the foundations of the program really remain the same. So, you know, there's this element of practice that you talked about Scott, and what Dan talked about is that this is a fun experience. And so what I think we've created while it's certainly very complex, and there are a lot of nuances, but it's a fun way to learn leadership. I remember being a grad student, you know, I got involved in this organization while I was serving as a graduate assistant working under Scott. And I remember learning about leadership as a student. And so you know, learn about the scholars, you read the books, you have these examples of what good leadership looks like, and you think I'm a good leader, I'm an okay leader, there are some students that think they're bad leaders going into this. But wherever a student really thinks they are, at the beginning of this experience tends to change a lot as they go through the program. And I think it's because of the fun that they're having. So they're exploring leadership in a different way. You know, it's not like I'm reading this textbook, I'm memorizing these definitions and taking a test. It's more about your ability to actually apply these concepts and to see them in real-time around you, while you're having a good time learning more about yourself and building these meaningful relationships with your peers. So I think, you know, there's a lot that stands out to me about this program. But one thing that really is is top of mind when I think about CLC is that it's a really untraditional approach. And throughout the years, as we've seen hundreds of students graduate from this program, we've also come to realize that it's an approach to leadership that's very well received a lot of students leave comments each year saying that this is arguably one of the best leadership experiences that they've had, both because they learned so much about themselves, but also because they enjoyed the process of really discovering more about who they are.

Scott Allen  9:29  
And then we both know, Bella, you've seen this as well. I've seen it this week. There's literally a chasm between people knowing the content and actually being able to apply the content. I mean, it's a chasm. It takes so much training to really help a human being go from knowing a problem-solving model that will we're going to set roles, we're going to outline the problem we're going to list multiple strategies, and they can regurgitate that to you, but as soon as you put them into an AI activity, training the individuals to really use that by default as the default behavior. It's incredibly difficult that the chasm is huge. Once you say, Dan,

Dan Jenkins  10:09  
yeah, without a doubt, and to see that, let's see those light bulbs go off, or students start to make that connection of Oh, like those things that we were talking about, or that article that you had us read or those, you know, terms that we, that you had us memorize, like, now we see these in action, as we're trying to, you know, solve this complex problem, or, or figure out this puzzle or, or, you know, beat our beat the other team that we're practicing with, or what have you, because it is about, you know, communication, it's about problem solving strategies, it's about making sure that you're being open to not only the feedback, but also the contributions of everybody, you know, within within your group and in your small team, and being able to manage that and facilitate that as a, as a leader of whether conflict arises or whether, you know, whether you're, you know, kind of designated as a leader, which is always one of my favorite things about the experiences that the the the actual, you know, the role of the leader shifts, you know, from activity to activity, but it's just so experiential, it's such an engaging process, and when you know, we're able to, to find that, that intersect between, you know, this theory and the practice, that's, that's where this is just a magical experience for students and watching it as a, as a coach. And as a, you know, as a professor of leadership. It's, it's just, it's, it's just so rewarding. Well, I'm

Scott Allen  11:27  
Bela. So the competition that shifts things as well, right, when you put people in a room, and there's an actual competitive atmosphere, that shifts the students that shifts the coaches. That shifts the whole dynamic. So talk a little bit about the element of competition.

Bela Jevtovic  11:47  
Yeah, the element of competition is something that's, I mean, we are exploring this even this year, we're learning more and more both about the students and the coaches that are involved in how competitive experiences you know, they change all of us, we all behave a little bit differently in these types of environments. So to provide a little bit of context for folks that don't know a lot about CLC. CLC is more than just a competition. And I promise to get back to your question here, Scott. But the way that the program works is we have different members that are parts of higher education kind of reach out to CLC, or we're reaching out to them. During the summer months, they sign up for the program, or coaches then are either student affairs professionals or professors at different colleges and universities across the US, Canada, and now really around the world that gets familiar with our program. During the fall, they go through a series of training. And then in the spring when their students are back for the spring semester, they start what we call CLC a practice season. During the CLC practice season, students learn about 10 terms that are part of our curriculum. And these terms cover ideas like creative problem solving, effective communication, followership styles, leadership styles, and so on. And as the students become more and more familiar with these different terms and concepts, their coaches begin Introducing experiential exercises where the students have to work as a team to accomplish a series of different goals. And all of this leads up to the competition that we host once a year, where we then get into some of these exciting kind of competitive experience experiences that Scott was talking about here earlier. And really, throughout the years, you know, we've seen students get really excited to be in our competition arenas this year, that will be a virtual experience. But there's an element of pride when the students are at these events, they're really trying to put their best foot forward. They're trying to impress judges, they're trying to impress their peers or coaches. And sometimes that can be really exciting. And sometimes also, we all get carried away a little bit at the moment. And we, you know, we can forget that we're there to practice leadership. And it really becomes a little bit more like a sport, right, where we're just there for the win. But I guess that sheds a little bit of light on human nature. And that's a whole different topic.

Scott Allen  14:26  
Well, and Arthur Schwartz, the co-founder said it really well. He said, Well, why do people practice, people, practice to compete or to perform right to perform the cello or to play the game? And this is really an opportunity, and it's an excuse. It's an excuse to have people practice leadership. And what happens is really, really cool, Dan, because essentially, your team of six students becomes a case study for all of the curriculum, right? I mean, you've seen this week, you can go to a case competition, where it's kind of this you know, fictitious, case that you're analyzing, staying in your cognitive, cognitive domain. But this in this experiential learning, they become the case study, they're experiencing the stressors that are navigating their leadership styles, they're following with greater intentionality. So your, your team becomes the case, don't you think, Dan?

Dan Jenkins  15:22  
Yeah. And, and they are, it's Case in point, you know, that it's, it's, I think it's a great perhaps a, you know, maybe an extension of that method. Because, you know, it is, you know, you think about some of these great, you know, teaching and learning activities that you can do in organizational behavior, organizational theory classes of like, you know, the classroom as the organization like these students are able to, not only interact with and, you know, within and among each other, but also, every single time we do some type of learning activity or experience, we debrief that. And so they're given that opportunity to, you know, to use, you know, Heifetz's language to get up on the balcony and take a look, you know, down at the dance floor, and, and do some, you know, analysis and some critical reflection of like, hey, when, you know, Scott, when you said this and had me, you know, I, you know, I stumbled for a sec, and, you know, I wasn't sure how to react, and, you know, I probably could have approached that differently. But, you know, the Bela, you know, stepped in and, and soften things out, and we were able to move forward and continue solving the, you know, the challenge, and, you know, it's the, it's these types of things that it helps them to immediately, like, as you said, to reinforce this deliberate practice of, they're able to perform, get feedback immediately, not only from one another but from, you know, these coaches that are in, you know, roles of leadership or have experience with leadership training and development and education. And it just, it every enforces that, that loop. And, you know, it is really fascinating, as a coach to observe this, as I said, this case, this case study, you know, evolved throughout the course of a semester, or if you have kind of thing with the trading period, that basically parallels that, you know, the first half or two-thirds of a semester in higher education.

Scott Allen  17:02  
You know, and it was hilarious, he barely you had mentioned at the beginning of the podcast that we've had some shifts, literally, last spring, we became the case study because what worked and what was and what we had created and built over four or five years, I needed to be shifted Quickly, quickly. And talk a little bit about that. How has the curriculum even shaped? Well, your own experiences, because now you're a business owner, you are using this curriculum each and every day, as, as a person who leads an organization? How does it inform your current work? Bela?

Bela Jevtovic  17:41  
That's a great question. And, you know, the short answer is, in many ways, the long answer is that I grew to truly love CLC is an organization everything that it represents. And a lot of what we teach through this program has become part of my everyday life. And so, you know, it's funny, even when I joke with my husband, he now knows a ton of the CLC curriculum, because, you know, I've been involved in this for so long. And so we'll be at home and kind of solving a problem. He's like, Wait, are we solving? Did we, you know, outline the problem, which is the CLC concept for listeners who don't know. But, you know, this is, I mean, I have talked to so many students throughout the years that have said, I continue to use the CLC terms and concepts in my everyday life. And when we initially started this program, we had this test pool of 12 or so students that were the first-ever CLC participants, I've kept in touch with many of them over the last five or six years. And a majority of them continue to reflect on this experience and mention how powerful it was to them. For me, I think CLC has helped in every business that I've been a part of, after, you know, being with the organization. And so I am constantly thinking through, you know, what kind of follower is this person that I'm working with her? What kind of leader is this, and I'm always filtering these everyday type situations through the curriculum. So I think that this is a powerful experience for people at really any level. I mean, one of the cool things that the three of us have explored is that we've used this curriculum with individuals as young as 17 or 18 years old, you know, we've actually as young as eighth-graders, yeah, we did some retreats with the middle school students. And you all have used this material in your consulting work as well. And you know, those are people that are mid-career or senior career levels. So, you know, this is truly I believe, a body of work that can be adapted to so many different arenas and can be in fact impactful to a person at any point in their life. In terms of us as the case study, I mean, you know, last year about almost a year ago, exactly, we were thinking that the competition was going to happen in 2020. And so over the course of about seven days, I think collectively, we experienced aspects of all 10 of the CLC terms that are part of the program.

Dan Jenkins  20:31  
Yeah, I mean, I, speaking of case studies, we were right on the cusp of trying to make this decision of whether we, you know, go forward with trying to host an in-person, you know, competition, again, we're catchword, somewhere almost exactly, like you said, you know, about almost 12 months to the day of where we were, you know, kind of deep in it. And I remember bringing some of the all the information we had at the time and actually brought it to my students as a case study as a challenge for them to work through to kind of let them see like, Hey, this is a real leadership challenge that we're dealing with, like, we have this pandemic, we don't know, here's what we know, so far. I mean, imagine what we were a year ago about the information that we had available to us, and, and what, you know, how much of that was going to be in Portland, Maine, versus, versus some of the other parts of the country and, and what have you, you know, luckily, the students, even though they didn't want to, they came to a similar conclusion of, you know, that there's no way that we can safely you know, facilitate this for, for students from multiple institutions, etc, etc. To create a competition that would, you know, just to go back to that just to be safe, you know, and so they experienced rapid change, quick change, you know when we were able to make a meaningful experience for that. But we also learned a lot as an organization. And I feel that you know when we're so excited for what this 2021 digital and virtual approach to the CLC is going to be.

Scott Allen  22:02  
Yeah, and the digital, the digital leader development is a completely 100% new domain. I mean, the coaches who have come along on this little adventure of, can we develop leadership, digitally? Can we develop teams with the, you know, six people, some of whom are in China, some of whom are in India, some are in Canada, somewhere in the US, really all over the world? And can we still do this? Can we still do this work? And at the end of it, really feel like we've built a team? Of course, organizations are doing that, can we? And can we build that same culture around the experience. And I think it's gonna be really, really interesting to see how it plays out. Because none of us on this, on this podcast right now know what the story is going to be, we're going to know more in about a month, literally a month, in two days, we're gonna have a lot of data. But we're exploring, and we're trying to see what we can learn. And again, the coaches and the students who have come along in this 2021 competition, just need to be commended, because they are a part of this experiment that, you know, it's to be written, right.

Bela Jevtovic  23:17  
And I think that this year reminds me a lot of year one and two of CLC. You know, back in 2014 2015, when we were really just piloting this project, and trying to learn more about what this would look like, the three of us were designing an experience that we had never been a part of before. Because something like this, you know, we didn't come across any examples of leadership competitions that are formatted in the way that CLC is. And so we were designing something totally new that hadn't been explored before. And there was a lot of learning in that process. We certainly didn't make all the right decisions right away. You know, we made plenty of mistakes that we had the opportunity to learn from as we moved into the future. And this year is very much reminiscent of that. And I think that we will continue to do a lot of learning. You know, there's a lot that we know now about how you can teach leadership in these different experiential ways how you can design competitive experiences that are fun, but impactful, but I think that this new you know, format for us, this digital environment is certainly going to bring some new challenges, but also a lot of learning that will help us make CLC even stronger.

Scott Allen  24:42  
Dan, in year, year two, I think it was year two,  our mission statement was something to the effect of and Bella you'll remember this it was like you know, taking students to the edge of their knowledge, the boundaries of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. And I think year three, we changed that To say, taking students and coaches to the edge of their knowledge, skills, and abilities. And so as we kind of wind down, Dan, what are a couple of things you've learned about yourself through this process? As a coach? Does anything come to mind for you about reflections, about what even you've learned about yourself? Because this isn't easy from a coach's perspective, either you care about these students you want them to do? Well, you want them to, like I said, kind of cross that chasm of theory to practice? What have you observed in yourself? What have you learned?

Dan Jenkins  25:34  
Yeah, I would, I would say the first thing that comes to mind, as you know, the focus on relationships, and just how important that that is to not only model that for, for the students but to make sure that you're providing ample time in the team development and the group development and the practices, you know, focusing on that getting students to share with each other and learn about each other. Because, you know, what is good leadership? leadership's about relationships, you know, it's an influence relationship, you know, you can't, you know, while there are, you know, as many definitions for leadership, as there are, you know, flavors of calm, yeah, innovation or flavors of coffee, you know, the one thing that, that is that I think is a constant is it is some type of relationship between, you know, individuals want to be leaders, followers, and contexts or what have you. But any, any time that I, you know, where we might have had a snow day, or we had to rearrange something because a student couldn't attend a practice or something, and I, and I, you know, decided to add another, more of a skills-based activity versus a team-building activity, or some type of trust-building or communication or feedback type of activity, the team either regressed or just kind of what became stagnant, you know, and as soon as we returned to these relationships, building types of activities, things started moving in a quick, extremely quick, you know, rate, and I'll just share 30, you know, 30 seconds story where we had a, we had a returning team member from one of our championship teams come and visit students to give some feedback, you know, a year later or two years later, and he saw how this group was kind of performing. And he, he pulled me aside and said, Hey, you know, I, I guess they're kind of still, you know, in the, in the norming, stages Han down, and I was like, oh, man, that hurts, you know, because the reason it hurt is that I thought they were a little farther along, but I had done exactly what I had shared as I, I had, because a student couldn't attend a class on a certain, you know, certain day, I had focused more on skills versus relationship-building activities, and immediately changed the agenda for the rest of that class meeting. And the following meeting, that that same coach, our former student came back a little bit later in the semester, and, you know, much to my, you know, surprise, or I guess, positively, you know, said, Hey, they've definitely, definitely progressed in a way that you should be proud of. And they're performing on all cylinders now. So yeah, that's definitely a big one.

Scott Allen  28:03  
Lots of learning, a lot of learning, on all ends, on all ends, a couple of final thoughts from each one of you, and then we'll close out for the evening because we're recording it. It's about 630. Now, I'll start with just one of them. I can't agree with you more, Dan, I think, when this has been a wonderful opportunity to build relationships with students, and see them work in somewhat semi stressful situations, at times, build relationships with other educators around North America, that's been a wonderful piece of all of this and creating a little bit of a community of educators. I've built some incredible relationships with people like Kris Gerhardt, in Canada, who provided us an excuse to get together on a more consistent basis and really explore this whole topic. And so I think that's been a wonderful byproduct, at least for me of this whole experience, is driving with Steve Edelson off to Canada for a competition. Now, for any listeners, we're not doing that anymore. It's all virtual this year. But the opportunity to build those relationships is just invaluable and to explore. Well, how about you?

Bela Jevtovic  29:13  
Well, to tie into what you just said, I think it's been fascinating seeing so many educators come together and tried to try to make our program even stronger. You know, there are a lot of people, we've talked to hundreds of people about CLC. And so many of them have been impressed by our work and excited to join and then when they do their thoughts helped to make this organization better. I mean, we have so many volunteers, you know, people who are coaches, part of this program, who spent hours and hours reviewing some of our work, providing feedback, and they're truly helping us make strides. And so it's been really wonderful to see great leadership, you know, As part of an organization that focuses on leadership, and so, you know, I just like to thank all of the people outside of the board and the staff that have really helped make CLC what it is, because so many of those people exude what it is that we're trying to teach through this program.

Dan Jenkins 30:19  
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I would definitely echo that. And many relationships are just out of this world and being able to, you know, again, pre COVID, to be able to travel to different universities and, and support the organization, you know, as a board member, and provide hosting or logistics or, or running some of the competitions and, and things like that, you know, are just so rewarding, because you see the impact that it makes on the students and, and the coaches and all those folks involved in the volunteers. And, you know, I would say the only thing I would leave y'all with would be, you know, just that this, the ability for, because of the folks that are involved the ability for the organization to, to evolve and adapt to, to where we are now. Because developing leaders digitally, like really like, how does that work, but guess what, it's happening all over the globe. And so, you know, we create an experience that was, you know, pre-digital, and now we're able to adapt and offer digital experience because you know, what folks are folks who meet and folks have to do teamwork, they got to do group work, they got to meet deadlines, and finish projects and, and make amazing things happen for the visions and missions of their organizations. And you know, what we're, we're teaching the next generation of leaders how to do that.

Bela Jevtovic   31:29  
I was just gonna say, you know, we've talked a lot in this podcast about this being a meaningful experience for students and, you know, designing these competitive experiences. But one thing that we haven't touched on that's really important is that we're also doing research along the way to validate our results. So for all of you that are super data-driven out there, you know, I'd love to invite you to read a little bit about our work. And to just know that, you know, this isn't, we're not just kind of making this up as we go. There's a lot of reliability and validity behind the scenes in terms of this program, as well. And the more people that are involved, you know, the better the end becomes. So

Scott Allen  32:12  
we're trying to Dave, Russia's helping us really think through some of that, some of that work that we're doing, which has been wonderful to partner with him as well. So, you know, there's a community of people of students who have educators of volunteers who are experimenting with doing leadership development a little bit differently, leadership, education, leadership learning in a different way. And it's been a fun adventure. By no means is it a finished adventure. And I think that's, that's part of the fun. That's part of what keeps us engaged, keeps us involved is that this is set up many times on this podcast leadership is a beautiful puzzle. Leadership Development is a beautiful puzzle. And this is one opportunity to create a little bit of a laboratory where we can learn more. So the two of you, thanks for all you do. definitely appreciate it. And we will kind of wind down there for the night, Bella. Thank you.

Bela Jevtovic  33:09  
Thank you, Scott. It was a pleasure.

Scott Allen  33:11  
Dan Jenkins. Thank you, sir.

Dan Jenkins  33:14  
You're welcome, man.

Scott Allen  33:14  
My pleasure. Okay, well, everybody

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