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November 6, 2008



Admins, you’re being called out by one of your own. HSC Foundation CEO Tom Chapman (former CEO at Greater Southeast and GW), tells us there’s room for drastic improvement among his peers. But don’t worry, he’s written a book that suggests a solution. And for the CEO on the go, it’s a slim 58 pages. Can you say stocking stuffer?


Tom says he wrote Management Learning Experiences of CEOs for leaders in elite occupations—those with extensive power, substantial responsibility, and unrelenting demands. (Sound like you?) His concern is that despite being most responsible for the future of their organizations, these leaders “are the least likely to seek out opportunities to learn new things.” His solution? Exclusive learning groups, controlled by elite occupations and reserved for their membership. (Think retreats and invitation only-type meetings.) What began as self-reflection, turned into a thesis while enrolled in GW’s Executive Leadership Program, and then morphed into his first book.


After dozens of confidential interviews with top CEO’s, Tom’s concluded these exclusive groups are the only setting that allows a comfortable exchange of information. He also adds that a group is only as good as its membership. If attendance is low, people get frustrated, and educational value is lost. Translation: Nobody wants to be the only person at a party. Ensuring the right names show up is just as critical as drawing up a good agenda.


Tom calls learning groups an “antidote to psychological isolation.” Judging by this photo we snapped of him about town, isolation hasn’t been a problem. He’s actually introducing legendary blues guitarist Memphis Gold before the HSC Foundation’s LEAP Awards at the Kennedy Center last month. The awards recognized community partners helping at-risk and disabled youth transition into adulthood. You can pick up Tom’s tome at a bookseller near you. If you ask nicely, he might even sign it.


Also at the Kennedy Center, we spotted National Council on Independent Living executive director John Lancaster. He tells us NCIL is lobbying hard for the Steny Hoyer-backed ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which restores the intent of the original 1990 ADA (eg, it adds a per se list of impairments, so litigation to demonstrate disability isn’t required every time someone seeks protection). It passed the House in June but has yet to see a vote in the Senate. Of course, some up-and-comer named Barack Obama (D-IL) sits on the committee responsible for it, so some patience might be required.

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