Takeaways from STLP Graduates
This year's graduates of the Stanford Technical Leadership Program (STLP) refined their skills in navigating change, exerting influence, resolving conflict, and listening effectively.
They also completed the 10-month training program with these takeaways and more:
- "If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you."
- "Relationships are the most valuable currency."
- "You can lead without being a Lead."
- "It’s not what you do, it’s how you do what you do."
- "The connections we make with others are the keys to success."
Thirty IT professionals from across campus made up the seventh graduating class of STLP and joined more than 150 colleagues who have completed the training since its inception in 2009.
University IT (UIT) introduced the program to help support individual growth and the continued development of technical leads and managers. It is an additional opportunity for leaders of technical strategy and operations to work together to identify and resolve issues as well as define and propose opportunities to improve Stanford. Participants include IT professionals in schools, departments, and units across campus, as well as University IT staff members.
For recent STLP graduate Jon Davies, the program's timing was "perfect" because it coincided with his shift into a management role at the School of Medicine (SOM).
"In the past, I’ve struggled to identify with the more traditional definition of "leader", but this program really expanded my thinking around leadership and opened my eyes to the unique value I bring to the table," said Davies, Director of Business Analytics with the SOM's Information Resources and Technology team. "I’ve been able to put the ideas from STLP directly into practice in my new position. It's been immensely helpful."
Strengthening IT leaders
STLP targets emerging leaders, influential technologists, and others who have to maneuver the complex IT landscape at Stanford to achieve results. Central to the program is gaining skills to lead without authority, find common ground, navigate change, and map career steps.
Rick Fredericks of MOR Associates, who leads STLP, said the program’s value is realized when participants "develop presence, depart comfort zones, and skip away from existing assumptions."
"Participation requires an open mind, the willingness to experiment (and perhaps stumble), and the belief that 'the answer is in the room'," Fredericks added. "The STLP learning design is geared towards collectively seeking — and finding — that answer."
Recent STLP graduate Jo-Ann Cuevas of UIT described the program as "intense."
"It makes you take a step back and get real about yourself and redefine how you’re building relationships — or not building them — and what you can do to change perceptions to move towards a successful organization," she said.