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Posts Tagged ‘The EDGE’

The Wall Banger … Where’s Harvey?!

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, leadership, Leave Your Comfort Zone on August 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm
And the OC says, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to 'The Wall Banger'." To which one participant replies, "Where's Harvey?"

And the OC says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to ‘The Wall Banger’.” To which one participant replies, “Where’s Harvey?”

Recently I had the honor and privilege of serving as the “officer-in-charge” at the Thayer Leader Development Group’s “Leader Reaction Course.” While at West Point, two groups of corporate executives were put through their paces in team-building and executive decision-making.

So what makes experiential learning so effective? There are many reasons …

a) Leadership is best picked up in an experiential, hands-on setting. You can read about the HOW TOs and you can study how others may act in situations of high stress when faced by a challenge. But there’s nothing like being faced with a challenge — in the moment — with working with others and deciding what makes for the group’s next steps.

b) Reality trumps virtual reality 99 times out of 100. How do you gain experience? You make mistakes and learn from them. “Plan-Prepare-Execute-Learn” is the cycle that can only be appreciated when you’re doing and being versus just thinking about it.

c) When navigating through a challenge course, ropes course, or reaction course — you see the results of your thinking and decisions directly and in real time. Positive and negative results are revealed within minutes if not seconds of your decision. If you’re luck to have a trained “observer-controller” or OC / coach working with you during this experience, then they can help you see and understand the good, the bad, and the ugly consequences of your actions.

As for items d) … through z), these may be the topics for future posts here or on Linked In.

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John Lesko is a certified professional facilitator and leadership coach. He’s a graduate of the school of hard knocks and an adjunct faculty member of the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point. He also hangs with the staff at The EDGE at Mason. To learn more, comment here or send an e-mail to <John@JohnLesko.Biz>.

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On boundaries, borders, the frontier, and other self-imposed limits

In Active Learning, Leave Your Comfort Zone on June 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Do you consider yourself someone who lives at the edge? When was the last time you visited the frontier; challenging yourself to push beyond your boundaries?

Even the name of this fence suggests it's strong and not to be crossed.

Even the name of this fence suggests it’s strong and not to be crossed.

Some boundaries invite your to cross over the line.

Some boundaries invite your to cross over the line.

What does it mean to explore? Do you consider yourself an explorer?

I chose to cross this creek via a safer bridge.

I chose to cross this creek via a safer bridge.

Then I proceeded into the woods along a well marked trail.

Then I proceeded into the woods along a well marked trail.

The trail narrowed to a tree covered footpath.

The trail narrowed to a tree covered footpath.

What does it mean to push to or beyond the edge of your comfort zone or understanding? And how does being at this edge make you feel?

Once upon a time the Fall Line represented the edge of colonial lands.

Once upon a time the Fall Line represented the edge of colonial lands.

Frontiersmen and scouts pushed past the falls to explore the Piedmont and beyond.

Frontiersmen and scouts pushed past the falls to explore the Piedmont and beyond.

Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with being bold, provocative, or unconventional? Do you enjoy art, music, or ideas that some might call edgy?

Leave the well-marked trail and explore the edge of your current knowledge and experiences.

Leave the well-marked trail and explore the edge of your current knowledge and experiences.

Climbing at the EDGE

In Active Learning, Confidence Course Facilitator, High Ropes Course, Innovation on April 12, 2013 at 2:27 pm
The Alpine Tower is the centerpiece of the challenge course located at The EDGE.

The Alpine Tower is the centerpiece of the challenge course located at The EDGE.

Play at The EDGE – Cont’d

In Confidence Course Facilitator, High Ropes Course, High Touch, leadership on September 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

To assist folks leave their comfort zone and enter into their challenge or learning zone — this is the essence of experiential learning that occurs on a confidence course such as found at the Mason Center for Team and Organizational Learning (a.k.a. “The EDGE“).  Of course the perceived stakes are higher (pun intended) when a group works through a high-ropes challenge.  On belay!

The “Turtle-Monkeys” (a group of 5th graders) save a box turtle that was hiding under the 360-whale watch and then apply their turtle- and monkey-inspired superpowers to complete their confidence course activity. Some students were still like the turtle and others balanced like monkeys.

7th graders successfully navigate their way along the Mohawk Walk.

“Play” at THE EDGE

In Confidence Course Facilitator, Cool Ideas, facilitation skills, High Ropes Course, How To, leadership, sharpen the saw on August 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm

In the book MASTERY, George Leonard suggests there are five master keys needed to unlock the secrets to future success and long-term fulfillment:

  1. First one must seek INSTRUCTION.
  2. Secondly, we must PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
  3. Next you must SURRENDER to the discipline.
  4. After that you focus on your INTENTIONALITY (a.k.a., working the mental game).
  5. And finally you “play” at THE EDGE.

Well, for those who’ve wondered — “Where has John been?”  Or, “Why haven’t we seen any fresh blog posts here are JohnLeskoDotBiz?”

I’ve been in training at The Edge.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to work out of doors, hike thru the woods, and serve as a confidence course facilitator.  So if you or your organization are motivated to leave your comfort zone and enter into your challenge or learning zone, post a note below, send me an e-mail (John.Lesko@verizon.net), or give me a call (571-229-3246).

Four of the most recent nine Confidence Course Facilitators who’ve been trained at The EDGE’s “Alpine Tower” (a high ropes and team confidence course).

RANGERS lead the way.  “On Belay!”

Energize – Develop – Grow – Excel

Even the “class room” training is held out-of-doors!