Message from Institute Chair and Executive Director

Posted September 4, 2012 in News

It has been an extraordinary year for us at KLI—beginning with our move to the 4 th floor of the new Kravis Center. We are deeply grateful to our founder, Henry Kravis, for his enormous generosity that has made this facility possible for our entire campus community and especially for us. For most of KLI’s history, the core staff and faculty have been located in different buildings on the CMC campus. Being together in the same beautiful, highly functional space has provided us with a new level of connectedness and synergy. It has created a genuine buzz among our students as a hub for their development.

For all that the new space brings us, KLI is so much more: our KLI team members (all listed in this newsletter); the faculty who teach in the Leadership Sequence; our partners and collaborators; the Robert Day School with whom we work to develop leadership components to further the mission of CMC of developing responsible leaders; the wide variety of co-curricular, research, employment opportunities for students. Together, they create what we are most proud of – profound and enduring leadership development experiences for our students.

The comments of one of our students, Jessica Dang ’13, captures the breadth and depth of experiences gained through her engagement with KLI. Below is Jessica’s response to a question “How has KLI helped you grow as a leader?” from a paper she submitted as part of her summer internship:

KLI has helped me grow as a leader in more ways than I ever expected. My view on leadership has changed drastically since I have been exposed to the many leadership development opportunities. Activities such as the Sophomore Leadership Experience, the International Leadership Association Student Case Study Competition (Editors note: Jessica was part of a 3-person team receiving 1st place in the competition), the Leadership Sequence, research, Leadership Day, Women in Leadership workshops, internships, coaching, and many more. Instead of viewing leadership as promotion into an important position, I see now leadership as a set of personal attributes such as being humble, respecting others, being passionate and demonstrating how you care about your community.

Instead of how people view me on the outside-in, what is now most important is how I act from the inside-out, as an authentic, honest, and open person. For me, leadership went from having a label, to actually increasing my self- awareness and achieving personal growth. I have also learned that leadership is a journey, not a destination. I will continue my learning about leadership and realize that I still have a long way to go before I can truly call myself a leader.

Furthermore, the leadership skills I cultivated through my experiences at KLI and Claremont McKenna College gave me the confidence to dream big. Although I am currently majoring in Psychology, I did not realize my desire to attend business school until I immersed myself in the work and study of leadership. Through the Leadership Studies Sequence sponsored by KLI, I gained a deep interest for organizational behavior and leading social entrepreneurial ventures. KLI has given me countless opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed while actively engaging me through activities I have genuinely enjoyed.

Jessica Dang ‘13

What Jessica’s statement conveys so personally is that KLI is a holistic set of experiences designed to fulfill our mission: “. . . to be the premier academic center for the promotion and understanding of responsible, innovative leadership and to provide unique opportunities for CMC students to develop as outstanding real world leaders in the public, private and social sectors.”

As we begin this academic year, we want to extend our deepest gratitude to Jessica Briggs, Assistant Director of Leadership Programs for her creativity, dedication, and leadership in the design of the types of experiences Jessica Dang described. She has accepted a position with Indiana Wesleyan University where she will be teaching in a leadership program and directing a large coaching program. She leaves us with our gratitude and warmest wishes for continued success in her work with students.

Finally, without the dedication and involvement of our Board of Advisors, led by David Hetz, we would not have the financial resources nor the leadership development programs described above. We are deeply grateful for your contributions both financially and through your active engagement in KLI and CMC activities. We are looking forward to the start of the 2012-2013 academic year and our continued impact on the development of leadership talent at CMC.

Jay and Sarah