What the heck is Leadership Calgary?

By DJ Kelly September 18, 2009

As those of you that follow me on Twitter have no doubt wondered – or even asked me – over the last couple of months: what the heck is Leadership Calgary and why is DJ talking about it so much?

After attending a luncheon about the program, completing an application process that included writing three essays, and a lengthy interview that asked some of the toughest questions to answer I’ve ever heard, I was accepted into the program. I feel very honoured to have been accepted along with with 30 other Calgarians who make up the class of 2010.

I first heard of the program from a friend of mine, JoAnn Reynolds, in 2006 when she was taking the course. Shortly there after I started having others – such as Dani Deboice and Terry Rock – recommend to me that I should enrol. After doing some research I found that so many of the Calgarians that inspired me were graduates of Leadership Calgary. (Leadership Calgary is a program of Volunteer Calgary.)

The time wasn’t right though as I had too many volunteer projects on the go. Until this year, when I just bit the bullet and made it a priority but cutting back to just two major volunteer jobs. And so began my journey into… whatever it is that Leadership Calgary teaches.

I mention this in a tongue in cheek manner because any alumni of the course will tell you it is complicated to explain what Leadership Calgary is. At the opening three-day retreat this past weekend I asked how we describe the program to others. The answer was: thinking about thinking. A longer explanation might be: exploring the decision making process and learning the patterns that result in people making stupid decisions so we may learn from those failures. (I’m only 3 days in so I certainly don’t know these patterns yet!)

But this explanation doesn’t give much detail. So instead I was pointed to this official video that explains things better, and in more detail.

I think that sums it up well. (Although the voice actress is a little TOO earnest if you know what I mean.)

I’m looking forward to the course over the next 10 months, and learning exactly how little I know about the world around me. 😉

  • DJ, this seems very interesting. I would definately liek to look at it in the future.

  • DJ, this seems very interesting. I would definately liek to look at it in the future.

  • AWalli

    So now with 10 months or so having passed, what are your post-LC comments?

  • Guest

    Hi DJ, so what’s your final thoughts/comments on Leadership Calgary program? I’m considering it, but haven’t decided yet. Any advise would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • If you have the time to do it – you have to be able to really commit the time to it as you get out of it what you put into it – then I highly recommend it.

  • Jay Low

    Please note the website has changed for Leadership Calgary, it’s