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Posted 11/9/2010

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Photo of National Conservation Training Center
National Conservation Training Center Photo credit: Ryan Hagerty/USFWS.

ALEXANDRIA, VA—November 9, 2010. Janet Cushing of IWR has been selected as a 2010 – 2011 National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI) Fellow. She attended a residency at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV, from 11 – 21 October. Much of the residency focused on the principles of adaptive leadership and risk-taking. Discussions addressed the importance of the sense of purpose in leadership and the value of emotional intelligence, particularly for empathizing with others in conflict resolution situations. The residency also featured field trips for trust-building exercises and a visit to the Antietam battleground to relate leadership styles to real-world outcomes. Much of the content was based on the books "Leadership on the Line" by Dr. Marty Linsky and Ronald Heifetz and "Leadership and the New Science" by Dr. Margaret Wheatley. Dr. Linsky and Dr. Hugh O'Doherty of the Harvard University Kennedy School of Business and Cambridge Leadership Institute led the instruction during the residency.

NCLI participants are required to conduct adaptive challenges, or individual projects to implement lessons learned. The residency included intensive discussions among peer subgroups to focus and refine each adaptive challenge; these peer consulting sessions continue throughout the entire nine-month program. Ms. Cushing will be leading a diverse team that develops strategies and solutions for incorporating climate change impacts into the Corps ecosystem restoration planning process. This year’s cohort of 36 Fellows included representatives of Federal agencies, state fish and wildlife agencies, non-governmental organizations, Alaska Native tribe, and industry. "One of the great things about this program is that it's very diverse in its cohort," says Cushing. "It was very rewarding to gain perspective from other entities."

The National Conservation Leadership Institute is an intensive leadership development experience that prepares the next generation of world-class leaders in natural resources conservation. It challenges Fellows to develop skills and cultivate leadership abilities through a comprehensive program of classroom and online instruction and individual projects addressing natural resource challenges.

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