In the ROAR book, we outline a “Resiliency Model,” which organizations and teams of any size can use to measure the level of resiliency of that team. Within that team, there are five basic tenets of Resiliency – which we call “The 5 C’s”. While all five are of equal importance, the one that I am most fascinated by recently – and inundated with – is the 5C – Rebalancing Commitment. This commitment involves embracing change, risk taking, and the courage to ROAR as a leader – in a major and impactful way.

As a human resources leader, this requires very strong , innovative, branded, effective, and personalized (meaning not off the shelf, but tailored to fit your organization/team). At San Diego Zoo Global (“SDZG”), one of the best parts of my job over the past twelve years has been creation and oversight of all of our Zoo U Leadership Development Programs. I have made a promise that every three years, each member of manager team (300+) will go through some iteration of immersive leadership training. Being a non-profit organization, I don’t have the luxury of an organizational development department, so it’s 100% up to me personally to create these teams – which I’ve also done by partnering up with a few consultants and trainers to assist. I started with a quarterly program, covering the basic fundamentals of leadership and management. Helping me create this, and handling the actual training of said program, was Sheryl Roush, now deemed the “Zoo U Lead Trainer”! A few years later, we took it to another level, and that is when I brought in my ROAR co-author, Sandy Asch – and we created the Zoo U Advanced Leadership Training Program (how to create World Famous Teams, be a World Famous Leader, and create a World Famous Culture). This program was transformational to our leadership team, and prompted a third iteration – the Zoo U Extraordinary Leadership Program. I again brought in the amazing Sheryl Roush, and we combined our SDZG Leadership Competencies, our SDZG Leadership Brand, and our SDZG Rules of Engagement, all into one cohesive 3-month long leadership program.

These programs have been amazingly popular – and in terms of resiliency, proved that a small team (here, two!) with a limited budget can create incredibly effective programs that look and feel as if thousands were poured into them. I love it! It’s great that on June 9th, we will host an official San Diego Zoo launch of our ROAR book, with a keynote by Sandy Asch and myself – with our master of ceremonies being none other than Sheryl Roush! The three of us have proven resilient partners for many years now…and hopefully, many years to come!


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