Photos with “teaching” comments

This room is setup specifically for the primary sessions of this client’s version of my Leadership Development Forum, named there “Transformational Leadership Program”[TLP]. Note the small tables for easy discussion, and switching of speakers position and of participant places. Also note the wall panels with TLP themes, plus all the various forms of AV support. It allows my “virtual” attendance from Cape Cod to be easy and effective, once I’ve been in person several times with the group. Note also the place cards [to switch daily for optimal group interaction], and handouts for the agenda support.

The important point is…the room used is crucial, and allows far more options for the “Magic” to occur, than most people realize. It’s a fundamental LLF decision, with very  high impact!


A team presents, using handouts, as well as a big screen to lay the base for their integrate presentation. Herringbone seating allows interaction and a larger audience. Participants learn from each other…often insights not fully acceptable from senior presenters or outsiders. The topical complexity can ride on the back of peer level authenticity.


Roy Streed from Ameritech leads a discussion assignment in our often used facility @ Keller Graduate School of Management – Evening Division….we used it during the day for many years! It was 4 mins.,  from my home ,so I could go back @ lunch or break to get some book, handouts…..whatever



An evening session together is an essential part of the  LLF process. I don’t attend. They got enough of me during the day and if I went, the conversation/questions would be different. The participants need the time on their own to maximize their classroom interaction and connections between sessions. Some Facilitators do go out in the evening sessions



This is a useful photo of a classic forum setting, allowing flexibility, plenty of display alternatives, enough chairs so participants can move around, open dialogue promoting, group self managing possible, etc.



This photo shows where the Forum process  was born…in our living room. It could hold up to 24 [ same for dining room -but usually keep to 13-17 for optimal dialogue purposes

Very comfortable, coffee/refreshments close by, could go outside, weather permitting. Allowed for a completely different “tone” and process to evolve for the group.



Another example, different location



Five screen/print capable/erasable/write board  showing. extremely useful. One of the many things making the running of LLF’s in our home  so successful….much more effective than most hotels, even most conference centers

New sponsors and new facilitators are often slow to fully comprehend the “Why” behind, unusual meeting room requirements, like comfortable/movable chairs, or easy, full, sight lines between all participants



After the “10 year personal planning ” exercise, which is always provocative and ebullient……some of the manifestations of that learning activity are visible, as is their joyful individual and group feelings about the process and the results!! This session was held in our home, which could hold meetings and meals for up to 24 participants. It was a week long in 1984. Here are 12 early graduates  @ just before “Commencement”.  Also our home was a unique atmosphere for openness and out-of -the box thinking. And, it allowed huge flexibility in the agenda….use of props….break-out areas, etc.



Part of our dinning room which we used  for breakfasts,  lunches , beaks… quite different…very productive!!



The “posters” to be used in each session were enlarged, and put on the wall of the meeting room [ in hotels or conference centers, or our home!!], which helped drive home points made by speakers, or in books, or via exercises. And they help guide speakers to enlarge on their prepared comments.



Here Lori Lee Sadler, a powerful, well known I.T. leader, in two  local business organizations, having made good use of the posters on the wall in her presentation, gathers her feedback forms from those very responsive participants. Speakers seldom get such  feedback and really appreciate it, often replying to some when requested to!!

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Ken Chase, the Delta wine steward, who came on several WWII trips to France with our LLF’s there, running a wine education session [ note the glasses on each table]. It’s always good to provide something related but counterpoint to these intense forums. And also to have as much interaction, rather than “lecture, as is possible. Again note the participant engagement.

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An “orientation session, separate from but close to the usual LLF sessions, is always crucial.

Here 7 newcomers start. with two trained committed facilitators, on the left side of the table [I took the photo[. About 4 hours, i.e., a half day, including discussion, they get to know each other well, and con fit more easily into the “Rolling” model {several start @ once each session….graduation is bunched 3 or 4 time s a year [ it’s more celebratory  to do with a larger group]}


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The designated “Reporter”  from a breakout table shares Q&A with other participants. Each table usually has a related but different topical perspective to discuss by themselves and then share…the set of 4 or 5 such views folding into the agenda in a powerful learning , often in ways they handed expected nor often follow in heir own lives. This table set up works well for other modes also. Use “Cresent” seating

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Classic arrangement. Name cards visible on the floor for speakers. A few extra chairs, so participants can choose who they’re next to. Depending on room size can only accommodate a max. of c. 20-23. Everyone except me when I facilitate, on the up-front circle. Encourages speaker movement and direct eye-contact. I make participants change location each day. it makes a difference in how they interact/listen,…….and is a big ‘”transportable”  lesson, for their immediate take home value!


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This is from an internal LLF, where the rooms available aren’t always optimum, and changing can be difficult,  because of their janitorial union rules etc. Settle ahead of time


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Pre briefing before walking “Pickett’s charge” @ Gettysburg. Weather an issue, perhaps. Mobility also for some participants. Such field trips need careful planning and contingency plans

Three graduates[ note red ribbons]  resent personal, holistic LLF impact perspectives, and enjoy comments from partner participants. Almost always a deep personal experience and learning moment for all. Best before dinner/refreshments…enhances the rest of the evening

Graduation is the only evening I attend. Evening programs, several each cycle, are essential, but are better I believe when they are by themselves. not all facilitators agree



Casual interaction with a speaker, just after their Q&A session, often will produce very relevant learning moments for all. here an longtime friend/client/current CEO chuckles about a simple yet profound story he shared with the participants, and how it shed lights on his potential, and their, future success! Such seemingly spontaneous dialogue is a hallmark of magical impact on many there, that the facilitator can bring into focus!


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The Normandy LLF breaks up after its group photo. Strong relationships forged. Deep memories. Once in a lifetime learning and Leadership Lessons absorbed, was the unanimous feedback! Most continue connection in some way, sponsoring others, doing their own internal “LLF”, in their own best way. Staying in touch via the LinkedIn discussion group, or my website

Join in and benefit/enjoy!



General Hal Nelson [Ret.] explaining the leadership challenges, intensity, lack  of full information, and unexpected circumstances  but clear focus on objectives, managing complexity, and utilizing teamwork and inspiring individual performance, repeatedly there on the beach -head…… in multiple ways. Awesome

He brought it alive, to  today’s different but also mercurial issues,  that we all face!!

A special lead facilitator



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Luncheon break @ a famous “Normandy” invasion point, for reflection, interaction, mediation, and  relaxation. a major, and effective part of the LLF program there, but always! The group congeals and becomes something much more than it was to start……everyone benefiting contributing from their own experience ,again based on Hal’s facilitation skills. and their growing authentic capacity to share in a unique mode


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Bus rides between points. Again reflection, mediation, note making…sometimes new facts/points covered  via bus audio system [important for such travel vehicles[.. Size  =  crucial, for back roads, parking, as well as seating and mixing the group. An active, surely not wasted, part of the overall agenda!
















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