Houston Education Leadership Partners: Transformative Leadership Development

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” It is a general consensus that the leaders of today have mastered the “what” of leadership but fall short when it comes to the “how” of their self-development. Apart from on-the-job experiences, executives stop learning after a certain point, leading to a developmental challenge for the entire business and not just a leadership problem. The creation of an entrepreneurial streak who had a vision to empower school leaders in particular, DBA Leadership Partners came into existence in 2016 when there was a dire need for leadership and management tools.

The company’s conception traces back to the time when founders— Cecilia Hawkins, Kim Huseman, and Lawrence Kohn—worked for a non-profit organization at the Rice University to train leaders in the greater Houston area. They ultimately decided to develop the program by establishing a firm that was formed around the idea of nurturing a “whole leader” along with extensive and personalized coaching to improve professional development. “Everything we do is driven by a belief to help our clients develop skills and strategies so that they become competent in leading the organization, handling stakeholders, managing change, and ultimately bringing out results,” asserts Cecilia Hawkins, CFO of the company. Each session helps the participants self-evaluate themselves and simultaneously set goals for the future, which they work toward as they progress.

Leadership Partners’ solutions allow people at high-level positions not just to guide their teams but also to work on self-growth through regular monitoring and assessment. Devised by Kim Huseman, the Chief Talent Development Officer of the company, Executive Coaching is one such model that helps leaders attain balance as well as prolong their tenure in that particular role. Other than the technical skills, this program fosters the emotional quotient of the participant by allowing them to express and develop on their ideas of personal ambition and growth. The company follows a succession coaching model that entails addressing various issues related to their professional and personal life. Before initiating the program, the participants are assigned pre-work tasks that help them get in sync with their current emotional and mental status.

Everything we do is driven by a belief to help our clients develop skills and strategies so that they become competent in leading the organization, handling stakeholders, managing change, and ultimately bringing out results

During every session, the coach discusses various leadership goals that the client aspires to achieve after which they’re able to advance to the next aspect effectively. To determine the participant’s existing state of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, the company performs an assessment. Not only is it helpful in providing an accurate score of their current scenario, but it also generates different aspects that need to be addressed. Leadership Partners sends out a survey to the leaders that measures the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, which in turn reveals insights on his/her leadership and areas that need improvement. While all this plays out on the forefront, leaders are provided with motivational videos and activities to perform.

In one such case, a leader was able to make significant changes in an underperforming school due to the skills he had acquired during his Executive Coaching sessions. By building a robust foundation, he transformed it into one of the highest performing schools in the region.

Leadership Partners also organizes a Leadership Summit where their renowned national faculty address participants through interactive sessions and workshops which are not only motivational but also transformative. The company’s solution is based not just on famous leaders but also various leadership traits across different verticals. “We will continue to encourage our clients to grow and learn from each other so that they go back into their world as leaders which will allow them and their team to grow and progress,” concludes Lawrence Kohn, Chief Research and Evaluation Officer of the company.