Leadership Reflections: Leadership Challenge Goes to Honduras, Meets New Honduran President

Leadership Challenge Goes to Honduras, Meets New Honduran President

Edmundson Northstar Institute

Given the tremendous emphasis the Honduran people place on education and the opportunity and desire for many of them to be educated in the U.S., it's likely that The Leadership Challenge in some shape or form has previously found its way into the country. For certain, during three days in February, it was not only the center of attention for the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, but drew the attention of the country's newly elected president, The Honorable Porfirio Lobo.

In a joint effort between one of the largest Protestant churches in Honduras and the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ken Edmundson, the president of Edmundson Northstar Training Institute in Memphis, Tennessee, was invited to conduct two one-day seminars on the Five Practices of The Leadership Challenge to business leaders, entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders. Edmundson, an avid student and teacher of The Leadership Challenge, found the invitation too intriguing to dismiss and discovered the opportunity to speak to a largely Spanish speaking audience and introduce the concepts and practices of The Leadership Challenge extremely inspiring.

As Edmundson said, "During most full days of training, participants show some signs of time anxiety and loss of energy as the day moves along, even in the most exciting seminars, but this group of Honduran business leaders was as energized at the end of the day as they were in the beginning."

Another highlight of the trip was an invitation for the team to visit with newly elected President Lobo. It was there where Edmundson and his fellow teachers were able to visit with and listen to President Lobo's passion and desire to lead his people to a greater commitment and investment in his country, and through nearly an hour and one-half discussion of business principles and concepts, seemed pleased to learn of the joint effort of the Tegucigalpa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Impacto Church and The Leadership Challenge.

While Edmundson led the teaching on The Leadership Challenge, he was accompanied by Mike Ducker, the Chief Operating Officer of FedEx; John Nordstrom, Managing Director of Morgan Keegan; and David Coombs, a retired senior executive of Anderson Tully and currently Senior Administrative Pastor for Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. While Edmundson taught The Leadership Challenge, they each worked in complementary venues to discuss leadership in crisis and values in leadership, which were coordinated with the teaching Edmundson did on The Leadership Challenge.

When asked, Edmundson said, "It was probably one of the most receptive groups I've ever worked with, and to do the teaching in simultaneous translation was not as challenging as you might think. Probably the most intriguing part had to do with the LPI, and while we were not able to do a computerized LPI, we did the manual version (in Spanish), and they were fascinated by the ability to measure their leadership style in such quantifiable terms.”

Edmundson is a proponent that leadership must have three elements for it to qualify as a real leadership system: you must be able to describe it, define it, and measure it. Edmundson says The Leadership Challenge clearly qualifies because you can describe it as the Five Practices; define it as Relational; and measure it with the LPI 360.

This is another example of the international appeal the Five Practices of The Leadership Challenge has in any language with every culture. As Edmundson said, "The Leadership Challenge practices work regardless of the language you speak.”

Edmundson said he could not have pulled this off without the close support from Craig Haptonstall of Leadership Mechanics; his master teacher, Denise Sullivan, Business Development Manager for The Leadership Challenge; and Ashley Evans, his sales specialist at John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Pictured (left to right): Ken Edmundson, Edmundson Northstar Training Institute, Mike Ducker, Chief Operating Officer Fedex and Honduran President Porfirio Lobo.

Edmundson Northstar Institute, a training institute, contributed this article. For more information, contact Laura Svec at 901-435-7778 or laura@northstarinstitute.com.


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