The Recess College For Senior Executive
The Recess College for Senior Executive and Professional Women
The College takes place in Oudh, a sixteenth-century Dutch castle in Leiden, and the staff includes Dutch and British women who have already experienced the course. This is important as one of the characteristics of the College is the level of commitment to each other's growth and the ability to work seamlessly with each other.
The main reason for the program's success is not because it is set up as a mini-sabbatical providing managerial skills in the technical sense, but because it goes beyond these parameters to give participants an opportunity to review their work and their personal positions, to reflect on achievements - and costs - and integrate their current priorities. At this senior stage of professional and personal life, self-awareness is 'a precondition of handling change and managing leadership roles.
The women's organizations benefit in turn by the development of their successful women managers and professionals who are able to solve problems in a fresh way, communicate differences in perspective and play a significant role in the leadership of change.
The College is an ongoing scheme for those searching for empowerment in their work, and who wish to handle their sphere of influence and develop their personal sense of mission. The core program is still the ten-day event on leadership, personal and professional renewal, plus follow-up reviews and networking.
In fact, the course has proved so successful that, at the request of male colleagues of the participants, the 'College for Men' has now been firmly established.
The success and merits of any program depend a great deal on the quality of facilitators and the balance of the program. It is not easy for people to take out time from work and home. It also takes courage to attend an activity which may make you question many of the tenets by which you have conducted your life so far. It may change your life and that involves taking risks which may impact not only on you but on all those with whom you live and work. Perhaps the people who are prepared to take these kinds of risk if they are to reach the highest levels of achievement at work, are exactly the kinds of people we need to run businesses in the twenty-first century?