School Business Affairs October 2020 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | OCTOBER 2020 17 EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP Leading the Way with Online Leadership Development Eagle Institute registrants model resilience with a shift from in-person to virtual learning. By Anna Billman I nitiated in 1992, ASBO International’s annual Eagle Institute is hosted in a historically significant set- ting and focuses on the philosophies and styles of respected leaders who guided their teams through notable circumstances in that setting. This immersive experience gives school business professionals an oppor- tunity to learn from proven leaders and discuss with their colleagues how to apply those lessons in their own business offices, districts, and communities. Because of the public health and safety concerns of COVID-19, the 2020 Eagle Institute in Quebec City, Canada, was cancelled. ASBO International Strategic Partner and long-time Eagle Institute sponsor Equitable generously offered all registrants an alternative pro- fessional development opportunity for 2020: Thayer Leadership’s online course, “Leading High-Performing Teams,” guided by Thayer Leadership faculty members. Named for Sylvanus Thayer, an early superintendent of the United States Military Academy known as the “Father of West Point,”Thayer Leadership is an executive leader development organization grounded in the U.S. Army’s leadership philosophy and principles and focused on cul- tivating well-rounded leaders by strengthening character, commitment to excellence, and innovative spirit. Thayer has 50 faculty members who conduct programs globally, retired colonels and generals, men and women who have spent a lifetime developing leaders in the Army and in cor- porate, academic, and government environments. Group Leadership Lessons on an Individual Schedule “Leading High-Performing Teams” is designed with schedule flexibility and different learning styles in mind. Eagle Institute participants were assigned to interac- tive cohorts and used a variety of tools and modules to complete the course elements on their own within a three-week timeframe, followed by a live capstone presentation and conversation with Thayer faculty and other participants. The elements of the course are divided into 5- to 10-minute activities—videos, self-guided reflection exer- cises, written summaries, and breakout group discus- sions—all of which can be accessed at any time. “The self-paced and self-directed technique and availability is really powerful,” explains participant Susan Harkin, chief operating officer of Community Unit School Dis- trict 300 in Illinois. “You still feel the value of interacting with other colleagues but can fit it into your own time- frame and still engage in meaningful ways through the dialogue and the blogging.” Army Leadership Principles in School Business Participants about the U.S. Army leadership framework that applies to military mission cycles and business objectives: • Create a plan and a shared vision. • Prepare yourself and the team to take action. • Execute the plan with consistent follow-up and fol- low-through steps. • Improve future work by taking time to assess before, during, and after the plan. The course offered concepts and practical tools and challenged participants to implement them right away MONKEY BUSINESS/STOCK.ADOBE.COM