Hanging Out With HYPE- Lessons in Leadership 2016

Feb 17, 2016

Every year Leadership Greater Hartford hosts an event series called Lessons in Leadership. This series is full of amazing opportunities, not only to read a thought-provoking and informative book, but also to cultivate relationships with some amazing leaders in our area, as well as put into practice the tips and tricks of leadership that have nothing to do with title or position.

This year's book is "The Sensei Leader" by Jim Bouchard, a sensei for over 25 years, who also helps companies and people tune into their true potential as a leader. He helps people understand that leadership is a transformational journey, that it is a never-ending process because as you lead, you learn from those who you lead, which in turn, makes you a better leader.

This is my third year participating in the series, which is a testament to how much these series influence me. While I'm not in a traditional leadership role at work, I do put into practice many of the things I have learned from spending time at the Lessons in Leadership series events. I have also met many great people, and am amazed at their generosity with their time to help me along in my journey. I hope one day to return the favor, and I know I would not have met these same helpful men and women without the series. 

If you've never been to the Lessons in Leadership series before, it's easy to sign up, and you don't even have to have read the book!  Each meeting is led by a facilitator who discusses a topic from the book, and provides some exercises to help attendees better understand what the topic means in regards to effective leadership. Because of HYPE's partnership with Leadership Greater Hartford, registration for this series is FREE for HYPE members! You can sign up for one session or all five. All sessions are held from 7:30-9:00am at the Chrysalis Center's TCC Training and Conference Center, located at 255 Homestead Ave, Hartford.

After each series, a HYPEster will be updating the blog with what they learned from the discussion, so check back for updates on this great series!

Suzanne Hoyer is the 2016 Vice Chair of HYPE's Personal and Professional Development Committee, and works for UTC. Email her to meet up at one or all of the session!



Wednesday, February 24- Session One
Kick Off & Book Signing With Author Jim Bouchard
Recap- Aaron Eicoff

Jim Bouchard’s energy exploded into the room with his philosophy on leadership technique. Borrowing from his own experiences as well as those of famous leaders, he interwove an interesting narrative of leadership qualities. Some notable lessons learned were: knowledge and experience are valuable, but must be tempered by self-awareness; inspire those around you to dream, learn, and become more; finally, practice the basics of leadership everyday. He also drove home the point that personal and professional mastery should be viewed as never-ending processes. However, no matter what level of mastery we reach, we must remind ourselves to always be open to new ideas.- Aaron

Wednesday, March 9-Session Two
Recap- Adam McLaughlin

In the second session of Lessons in Leadership, HYPE’s Executive Director Julie Daly Meehan spoke to the group about having the courage necessary to overcoming our fears, with a focus on Artistic Courage. This was defined as the fear to expose your own ideas to public scrutiny. We acknowledged the fears that might hold us back, discussed an action plan that could be used to help you overcome these fears, and also identified some individuals in our own lives that we might be able to help encourage to be more courageous. The session included group break-outs where we were able to dive deeper into these topics and engage in a good conversation with other attendees, which I found to be very interesting. I encourage HYPE members to take advantage of these great leadership sessions, and use the opportunity to sit at a table where you have to introduce yourself to everyone, step out of your comfort-zone and connect with others who are interested in growing their own leadership skills, you will find that courage can be very rewarding.- Adam

Thursday, March 24- Session 3
Recap-Kelsey Barringham

The third lesson in leadership sesaion was on compassion. We explored the different "love languages" that exist, love language being the way in which you feel and communicate appreciation. The different languages included: quality time, acts of service, words of acclamation, receiving gifts, and physical touch. While everyone has a preferred "love language", a good leader will be able to recognize the languages of others to be able to show them appreciation in the form that best resonates with them. While most people agree that they don't need to feel appreciated in order to do their job well, they also agree that appreciation is motivating and can help them enjoy their job more. Just as it's important to lead with strength and knowledge, it's also important for leaders to lead with compassion as well.-Kelsey

Thursday, April 7-Session 4
Tactics with Author Jim Bouchard
Recap- Christina Lumbreras

It was a pleasure to hear Jim Bouchard personally teach us about leadership. He was a very engaging and dynamic speaker with an interactive presentation. He described 5 tactics leaders can use to adapt to a situation and handle confrontation. These tactics include: opposition, deflection, borrowing, and harmony. He actively demonstrated with simple attack maneuvers in which we all participated. It was notable some of the observations participants learned by practicing some of the tactics and how these tactics could be applied to real world office politics. He described that opposition such as attacking a problematic person directly in a workplace can be costly to your career.  However, deflecting the person’s negativity or borrowing or re-directing that person’s energy away from you can be less detrimental. Sometimes involving a third party to deflect an issue lessens the severity of the impact.He also emphasized that being a leader doesn’t mean you need to be a jerk. We had an open discussion of dealing with difficult people in the workplace and ways to resolve issues when leaving the company isn’t an option.  We also addressed whistle blowing and workplace harassment.-Christina



  1. 2 James 01 Mar
    I work during the morning on Wednesday. Is there something later in the day that I can attend?
  2. 1 Jackie Valliere 04 Mar
    Hi James!
    The Lessons in Leadership program change days. The next program is on Wednesday, March 9th but after that it's on Thursday, March 24th; Thursday, April 7th and Tuesday, April 19th. Hope you can still join us!


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