ULI Northwest Center for Leadership Provides Clearer Vision for Professional Goals and Expanded Network
By John Hoey, Senior Policy Analyst, Seattle Planning Commission
When I was accepted to participate in the inaugural class of the Center for Leadership in 2012, I did not know what to expect from the program. Would it be like going back to school? Would we be sitting through hours and hours of seminars and lectures? Was I in over my head as a newcomer to the world of ULI Northwest?
To my pleasant surprise, it became quickly apparent that I was in for a very rewarding experience, in more ways than one. I found myself among a group of 30 smart, dynamic professionals from the private, public, and non-profit sector with a wide variety of specialties in real estate, land use, and community development. We grew together as a cohort by learning from industry experts and local leaders, exploring our own professional development goals, and collaborating to complete team projects that addressed important regional issues.
The program introduced us to diverse perspectives on timely topics ranging from a big-picture focus on the land use policy challenges facing the Puget Sound region to more technical subjects such as urban economics and real estate finance. Sprinkled strategically throughout the program were fascinating concepts and practical applications of leadership development, including systems thinking, behavioral change, and assessment of different leadership styles.
At the time of my participation, I worked as a program manager at a national non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of public lands. I was able to apply the experience and lessons gained from the Center for Leadership to growing a program focused on people-oriented use of public land in urban environments. When I found myself in career transition a few years later, I had a much clearer vision for my next professional move and a newly-expanded network of relationships to help me reach that goal.
In my current position, I work with a diverse group of community leaders from the fields of urban planning, architecture, affordable housing, community development, and transportation. I attribute much of my success in this work to the lessons learned from the ULI Northwest Center for Leadership.
It has been a pleasure to be a part of the planning of the 2019 Center for Leadership program. I look forward to seeing the new cohort come together in the same ways that I did with my cohort in that six years ago. I strongly encourage mid-career professionals who have a background in real estate, land use, transportation background to apply!