Leadership Forum: “Not only did it help me professionally, but it helps me do better in life.”
Editor’s note: The Leadership Forum will be conducted January 8, 2015 – May 29, 2015 at the Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston, 3910 Kirby Dr., Ste. 131, Houston, TX 77098
ABC’s Leadership Forum consists of 10 sessions over the span of 10 weeks. Attendees learn about team building, communication, negotiation and much more. Ray Beaudet, operations and senior project manager with Griesenbeck Architectural Products, Inc., was first to admit he thought himself to be a pro at these skills. And with a booming Houston market, he struggled to even think of separating from his desk. So when Beaudet’s boss signed him up for ABC’s Leadership Forum, he wasn’t exactly thrilled.
Since he was forced into the class, Beaudet said he set the bar low. There were no expectations about what the class would be like, or what he might walk away learning. “But my company was willing to invest in me; I may as well keep an open mind,” Beaudet said.
Beaudet bettered his communication skills, but enhanced his ability to ‘let go’ and delegate tasks. The class showed him where his weaknesses were and allowed him to better himself and better his team, he said. But the Leadership Forum would hardly be successful without its praised teacher Linda Carter, whom Beaudet said was one of the reasons he kept attending. He remarked about how he benefitted from the class:
“Linda teaches that these lessons are not just making us better professionals. These are life lessons. You think to yourself that its only common sense, but, you know, that’s why you go to church every Sunday to ‘get fed’. I can see myself communicating with my kids better, improving my home life. The lessons correlate with your personality type to help you become well-rounded.”
A graduation honors the class once the 10 sessions are complete. At the ceremony, each attendee must give a speech about what he or she had learned – a kind of “final test” in public speaking for each student. Beaudet volunteered to go first. He conveyed to his fellow classmates that so much of what was learned in the class is that “we are put on this earth to be better people.” To him, the class helped him beyond the professional level. And he says to people who are considering the class:
“It is definitely an advantage – willfully or not. Take profession out of it. If you invest in and appreciate what is going on, it will help you be a better person. I think that should be the goal of anything.”