The members of our Leadership Beyond Boundaries team were so focused on their work that it almost slipped by them. The occasion almost passed without so much as a slice of birthday cake or even a store-bought anniversary card.
But we realized just as the year drew to a close — it’s been 10 years since we launched Leadership Beyond Boundaries (LBB), part of CCL’s larger commitment to social advancement work, way back in 2006.
We’re pausing today to say “Happy Anniversary,” and more importantly “thank you,” to the dedicated team of people around the world who devoted countless hours to improving their communities and the lives of others through LBB.
After all, part of the lesson of the holiday season is the importance of being thankful and of giving back, and it would be hard to find a better shining example of that gratitude and service than the societal advancement work done under LBB’s banner.
Perhaps we almost missed the fact that 2016 marks the 10-year anniversary of LBB because in some ways, it feels like much longer than that, especially considering all the different initiatives LBB has undertaken. A decade is a long time by any measure, even for an organization like ours that was founded back in 1970.
But at the same time, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since we kicked off LBB with a simple question —What would the world look like if all people had access to leadership development?
This question has remained the guiding light of Leadership Beyond Boundaries, where we believe that leadership is important at all levels of society, and that addressing the world’s most pressing problems requires engagement at every level, not just at the top.
It’s driven us to open an office in Addis Ababa, Africa, part of our much broader work in east Africa, and it’s why USAID named us among the world’s Top 5 youth leadership development programs in 2015.
It’s led us to work with underserved communities at home and abroad, from young girls in our own backyard in North Carolina to addressing political and ethnic violence in Kenya. The understanding that societal advancement requires widespread engagement and empowerment is why we partnered with business school students at 2 schools in India to tackle issues like clean water and healthcare.
We’ve developed toolkits, trained trainers, focused on children, partnered with universities, worked with government agencies and nonprofits, and touched the lives of thousands of people around the world. And it’s influenced the broader work of the Center for Creative Leadership, so much so that we’re placing more emphasis on societal advancement work going forward.
While we are pausing to pat our colleagues on the back, and to say a “Happy Birthday” of sorts, we’re not stopping for long. That’s because there’s more work to be done, and the results constantly inspire us to keep going.
On to the next decade!