Center for Creative Leadership

Build On: Leading the Movement

Igniting Leadership in Others through Education

Nancy Haller, PhD
Senior Faculty, Center for Creative Leadership

I grew up in a middle class family in rural Connecticut. Neither of my parents had college degrees but they held strong values about education. Right before the start of the new school year, just as summer was about to end, my mom would take my brother and me on our annual shopping excursion. Each of us got a new outfit and a pair of new shoes. And then we got to choose our “supplies” – notebooks, pencils, book covers, and the like. For those items, there was no budget. We just put whatever we thought we needed into the cart. Keep in mind that the array of our choices fit on the shelves of two short aisles in the local department store. I suspect that there would have been restrictions if Staples or Office Depot had been in existence in those days!

I did not grow up in a wealthy family, but I now realize how rich and privileged we were. We were encouraged to pursue learning. Homework came before play. Report cards were scrutinized. Parent-teacher conferences were always attended. Everything affiliated with school was of primary importance. It was such a mainstay in my family, and in my neighborhood, I just assumed everyone had access to schools and teachers. However, as I grew up I discovered that is not the case whatsoever.

In the U.S., a student drops out of school every 26 seconds. Globally, nearly 900 million people cannot read or write. Lack of access to quality education perpetuates extreme poverty and increases the likelihood that young people will gravitate to destructive paths. When the future seems bleak and people feel trapped in deteriorating and desperate circumstances, they turn to gangs, violence, and drug abuse. It is part of human condition… the need to belong to something larger and more meaningful than our individual selves. When education remains inaccessible for millions of children around the globe it has negative effects on every part of society!

Today I work as an educator at the Center for Creative Leadership. Our mission is noble – to advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide. In addition to working with corporate clients, we garner support from funders and donors to impact thousands of lives by serving nonprofit, education, NGO, and grassroots leaders, along with the communities where they serve. Together, we ignite leadership in others.

CCL’s San Diego campus is making a concerted effort to fight this global educational crisis. Our partner for over six years is buildOn, and the current initiative – Leading the Movement – focuses on developing the emerging global leaders associated with buildOn. These young leaders are dedicated to service, changing the world one community at a time by building schools in developing countries and empowering inner-city youth through service learning programs in the United States.

More than 80 buildOn schools in Senegal means that over 9,000 children and adults now have access to life-changing literacy and education. To date buildOn has constructed 1,000 schools in the some of the economically poorest countries on the planet. In the U.S. buildOn mobilizes 5,000 students per month in community programs at 50 high schools in six regions. Those students have logged 1.9 million volunteer service hours, and 97% of them graduate and go to college. By having academic paths and career choices, these young men and women will become more effective as individuals and capable of working in concert with others. Ultimately, they will be able to meet the challenges our world currently faces.

Education is an investment, and one of the most critical investments we can make. Join us in empowering buildOn to succeed in its mission. Imagine a group of expertly trained leaders providing hope and resources to underserved communities. Give the gift of leadership and be a catalyst for positive change. Add your voice to the buildOn movement. Education has the power to make the world a better place!

CCL-San Diego is involved in a service project this December

  • Our partner is buildOn, a nonprofit that creates education access both in the US and abroad
  • CCL is committed to host 24 of their younger leaders in a year-long leadership development journey, which will include preparation assignments and assessments, a five-day training at our San Diego campus, and follow-on coaching to support the application of their training

Leading the Movement

Leading the Movement is a yearlong leadership journey of discovery based on CCL’s Leadership Development Program®. Participants will learn critical skills on how to enhance their self leadership to create broader impact. Click the Donate Now button and enter buildOn in the comments section under Gift Recognition to contribute to this initiative.







“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Nelson Mandela

What they’re learning

  • Research-based Leadership Skills
  • Empowering Others
  • Inspiring & Influencing Others
  • Systems Thinking
  • Leadership Culture
  • Resilience and Energy Management
  • Effective Feedback

Why this is important:

  • Nonprofits do incredible work serving others around the world, but often find it hard to justify investing in their own employee development
  • CCL can provide the learning space to really enhance buildOn’s impact, and help retain and grow the people who care enough to make a difference (see buildOn’s impact on the right)

How you can help

  • CCL’s buildOn team needs to raise $65,000 to cover program costs
  • Become a corporate sponsor today
Nancy Haller

Nancy Haller, PhD
Senior Faculty, Center for Creative Leadership

Nancy has over 25 years of diverse experience in people development, and currently facilitates leadership education for clients around the world. She has served as a Director, Co-founder of a consulting firm, and a Sports Psychologist, all with a focus around understanding human behavior. She leverages that knowledge to enable individuals and teams to discover new possibilities and solutions to their most pressing organizational challenges.

Financial Times 2018 Top 10 Worldwide Executive Education

Financial Times Executive Education Survey Ranks CCL in Top 10 Globally


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