Some graduates of Conner Academy programs experience subtle but significant shifts in their relationships with the leaders they are serving, as well as an overall increase in their effectiveness as trusted advisors. Others report that the program the attended served as a catalyst for more dramatic, even transformational change in the way they view themselves and how they define their role.
It’s not possible to predict the impact that your Conner Academy experience will have on your career or your life. However, if you are open to possibilities as you go through your program, it is clear that you will find yourself with new choices and new opportunities for how you show up in your work.
Stories From the Path: Advanced Trusted Advisor
These are some of the stories shared by graduates of the Advanced Trusted Advisor program.
Your work has enabled me to shape and refine my craft at a time when I am the “hungriest” in my over 20 years as a practitioner. For this I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Following the couple days of interacting with you at the HITA workshop, I have been navigating the waters of bringing my craft to the executive level of my organization in a way that is having the impact I desired to have when taking on this challenge. Much of this impact is tied to you providing me a language and framework that bridged the gap of context for the work I can do. I am again energized and “hitting on all cylinders” as an advisor. Brian, Senior Change Practitioner
The most valuable takeaway from my experience in the workshop was a mindset shift regarding my approach to delivering my change leadership consulting services. While I had already integrated coaching into my change management engagements as an integral part of change agent implementation and support – I had avoided bringing my coaching skills to the work I do with executive leaders when hired as a change management consultant. I previously believed I needed to avoid going into any full coaching mode with them when they hired me for my change strategy expertise. I wore two hats – senior change practitioner, and leadership coach – and was very deliberate and careful how I leveraged those two roles. Having now explored the HITA role – I see my services in a much more blended light, and am thinking about how I lean into the strength of coaching skills with executive change sponsors that I work with in the future. I am especially excited about Daryl’s teaching on forming the container. As a formerly trained leadership coach, I am adept at creating and holding space, but the proposed structure we explored in ATA is exceptionally strong and will evolve the way I create and hold space in the future – and lead to more HITA relationship than either change expert or leadership coach alone.
Maria Darby, Founder & Principal Consultant, Engaged Change LLC
The Advanced Trusted Advisor workshop really helped me assess whether I’m bringing my best to my clients – and where I have room for opportunity. The exercises and conversations created a lot of “a-has” for me over the three days. The timing was perfect for me in terms of my relationship with my key senior client, and I walked away with the beginning of an action plan. It’s only been a week since the course, and I now have my plan ready for immediate action!
– Libby Pollock, Director of Strategy & Change, Habitat for Humanity International
It is an obligation to our craft to be a High Impact Trusted Advisor (HITA) if we are pre-dispositioned to be one. That was a good wake up call for me and also gave me a renewed energy in my work and the meaningfulness of it. The course helped me recognize where the underlying dissatisfaction with my work stemmed from and reawakened the passion I had when I first started in change management. Daryl significantly shifted my mindset in the direction that’s right for me and has provided materials and tools that I can constantly refer to until the new behavior and mindset shift has taken root and I’m fully in my new HITA self. Coming back as an alumnus was powerful for me. All the work I did in advance to refresh and deeply reflect on the materials put me in a good place to engage at a totally different level from my first time…leading to significantly greater returns.
– Erin, Senior Change Consultant
Working with Daryl was an eye-opening experience for me. The workshop offered confirmation to me that I am more prepared than I thought. I have the innate talent and skills to work with leaders who are willing to play with me in the 10% space. It helped me identify those areas where I am strong and those areas of opportunities that hold me back. I have the capability and can make the leap up with the confidence needed to stay there. Thank you, Daryl.
– M. Johnson, Global Change Leader
Stories From the Path: Raising Your Game
The following are a few of the hundreds of stories shared by Raising Your Game graduates.
Raising Your Game is an engaging self-exploration of how you individually connect to your work as a change practitioner. The workshop provides support, from both the wonderful facilitators and the participants, to hold up the mirror and begin to ask tough questions about who you are and how you show up to work to affect change in a meaningful way. This powerful exercise and work after has continued to enlighten me about how I can be impactful as a change practitioner.
– Karen Frank, Global Change Management Director
Through Raising Your Game, I discovered some of my habits and patterns that have kept me from really connecting in a deeper and more authentic way with clients, as well as with friends and family. Sometimes the things that I “know” can get in the way of just showing up as my true self and being present for another. As a result of participating in Raising Your Game, I feel lighter, freer, and more able to make a difference than I ever have. It’s hard work, but it is some of the most valuable work I have ever done. The most amazing thing is how people are responding to me now, and the opportunities that are emerging because people resonate with me at a deeper level. I highly recommend this workshop for those who want to bring their whole selves to being of service to something greater than themselves.
– Judi Neal, Ph.D., CEO, Edgewalkers International
Raising Your Game focuses on what differentiates “Adequate” change practitioners from “High Impact” practitioners. The conclusion is a focus on Character and Presence manifesting in your personal drive and how you “show up” with stakeholders in the change cycle. Ultimately, projecting your essence has an impact on building trust with business partners. It goes to Authenticity. It goes to having the Courage to advance a position that benefits others individually and collectively. It goes to unshackling yourself from layers of protective mechanisms you have built up over time, freeing yourself to be the genuine person you are. It goes to eliminating fear in pursuit of doing the right thing.
– Stephen Plante, Partner, Business Transformation Partners
I have a new image to hold in my mind about the essence of my own character. This is a new source of power and energy for me. I have a fresh awareness of how to ensure I am present and maintaining my best presence when engaging with a client. I have language and insights that confirm I am already operating as a high-impact practitioner, and I am more confident to ‘own’ that. I have a new intent to express the concept of ‘heart’ and ‘spirit’ in my work and in the content of my thought leadership. I have fresh intent to ‘play my own music for true fans’ and to keep that concept alive/awake in my practice. I have a new cohort of adventurers to connect with in the language and journey of high-impact work. Fresh question: How can I use silence and non-verbals to facilitate transformative conversations?
I can breathe again. I have given myself permission to remove the self-imposed shackles to allow me to be my true self and be the best with my clients. It’s liberating.
– Kerrie Mazengarb, Director, GSD Advisors Pty Ltd