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2019 Leadership Summits Recap

Bill Odle

In 2019, TBG intentionally focused on growing our leadership at all levels with a focus on developing the art of creative leadership. We did this by having three leadership summits this Fall. Each summit had a strategic focus around the firms three areas of leaders being Associates, Senior Associates, and Principals and were facilitated by Creative Executive, a leadership consulting firm based in Austin. The agenda for each were broken into three parts 1) Learning the art of creative leadership 2) Identifying ways to better live each of our values 3) Socializing with our peers while touring great built work.

We sat down with a few TBGers who attended and asked what their biggest takeaways were, what opportunities like this meant for them and what they were excited to implement in their day-to-day. Here’s what they shared:

What was your biggest takeaway from the summit?

Being around other team leaders outside our office was very beneficial. We were able to casually share struggles and triumphs that we have on our teams and get ideas on how other team leaders are handling the day to day issues.

– Jaime Zwiener, Senior Associate

This is like trying to pick my favorite child! My biggest take away from the summit was the Reactive Leadership vs. Creative Leadership and the elements that embody those types, as well as the concept of underfunctioning and overfunctioning. When Lauren was describing these elements, I could reflect on the times where I did overfunction on projects and how my doing so did not set the team up for growth down the road. Now having learned how creative leadership allows teams/people to take on more responsibility and become “owners” of the projects, I will be able to take a more thoughtful approach during design and team meetings to help allow them to grow and not cycle into underfunctioning.

– Jodi House, Senior Associate

What do opportunities like this mean for your career with TBG and your professional growth?

Opportunities like this are huge for my professional growth. If I’m left to my own devices, I will always choose fun creative classes over dry business classes (hello watercolor landscapes, charcoal drawing, black and white photography…). But the truth is that landscape architects get plenty of creative training and zero business, project management or leadership training. This retreat forced me outside of my comfort zone and provided me with skills that I am definitely lacking and totally need.

– Jessie Alexander, Principal

The leadership training helped me understand my role better. It was very useful and educational, and I can see myself reflecting on the training. I learned to improve myself and how I manage projects and communicate with others.

– Xin Yang, Associate

From everything you learned, what are you most excited to start implementing?

What I have been most excited to start implementing is the approach to problem solving for challenging opportunities. Being more proactive and less reactive in how we tackle any situation that comes up throughout the design process.

– Austin Hicks, Associate

The energy after each summit has been inspiring and there is already excitement for next year!