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Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP)

by Eleanor on 04/01/2010 - About Me

in -Landmark Education,SELP

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After completing The Landmark Forum and loving it, then slogging through the Advanced Course yet finding it very valuable, it was a forgone conclusion that I would sign up for the final program in the Landmark Education Curriculum for Living, the Self Expression and Leadership Program.

This program is distinct from the first two for a number of reasons, which include these:

– It is not led by a Landmark Forum leader. It is led by a leader specifically trained for this program.

– It takes place over the course of a few months, and has a weekly evening class in addition to three full weekend days spread out throughout the program. There is also a weekly coaching session with an SELP graduate.

– The focus is not on “me and my problems.” It is about taking what one learns in the previous two courses and learning to apply it to a real life project designed to contribute to other people.

– There is a LOT of pressure to sign up for it during the Advanced Course. I felt like I would be letting other people down by not signing up.

I’ll start with the positives. I love what this program is all about. Everyone picks a project to work on, one that is an authentic expression of who they are committed to being in the world, and that generates something awesome for other people. Family, friends and community members are involved, extremely valuable skills for getting people to participate and lead projects are learned and practiced, and the project is not allowed to be anything that promotes Landmark. (Big points to Landmark for insisting on that.)

And now the negatives. I did not enjoy this program at all, as much as I love the idea of it. Why? First of all, I missed working with a brilliant, snappy, sharp-as-a-tack, practically psychic Landmark Forum Leader. And who wouldn’t? As much as I appreciated the great (unpaid) commitment our Self Expression and Leadership Program leader had made, I was rarely inspired by the experience, and some weeks he seemed equally uninspired. The training that these program leaders receive is vastly different from that of a Forum leader, and it shows, especially with the less experienced leaders. (I did a make up session with a very experienced SELP leader who was far more dynamic, but it still didn’t do it for me).

Second, the coaching. The coaches are volunteers who have completed the program themselves, who are willing to attend all of the sessions again, and that’s where the requirements to qualify for coaching end.  This means that your coach might be working through as much crap as you are, which could cause them to miss calls, be apathetic, give misdirected coaching, or worse, quit partway through the program. I’ve heard about this happening on numerous occasions. It happened to me, though my coach got sick, so I’ll give him a free pass, but it was certainly jarring. But there are some amazing coaches, and it is possible to speak up and either get a different coach, or work the situation out, which I did not really do. However, while the coach is hardly responsible for one’s success, it’s clearly a different experience to have a great coach as a guide, and I sorely missed having that support.

Third, the pacing of the curriculum was an issue for me. After the rapid-fire pace of the previous courses, it felt like the SELP was progressing at a snail’s pace, with one small nugget of albeit valuable information dribbling out every week. I found the full weekend days to be exhausting, not enlivening, and I was disappointed by how little I wound up hearing about other people’s projects, which is my favorite thing about the program. I started getting “community event” burnout, meaning that I got tired of participating in Introductions to the Landmark Forum every few weeks (on each weekend day). I’ll admit it, I was a grouch, and while it’s no one’s fault but my own that I chose to suffer through the program, I still didn’t like it.

Finally, I didn’t notice that special, unique-to-Landmark, magical energetic transformation of the community from the first day to the last, despite the fact that that it was declared to have occurred on the final day. In fact, a lot of people didn’t even finish the program, and far fewer of us were left at the end compared to how many started off. A couple of people finished their projects, which was cool, but overall I felt that the program’s incredible potential was never reached, and that a redesign could be in order. I know that some people had an incredible experience, but I would love to see a program that has even more people feel that way, and complete the program, so that they can go on contributing amazing things to their communities.

Of course, given the insanely low price tag of the program, there is very little to lose by registering and trying it out for yourself.  And, it’s clearly an important key part of the series, so it’s hard for me to recommend against doing it, and I certainly think you should go for it if it calls to you in any way. But know that there are other powerful programs at Landmark to do after the Advanced Course, like the Introduction Leaders Program and The Wisdom Course, or one of the many incredible seminars (though seminars can be hit and miss as well). Or, as this site will show you, it might even be worth considering other programs that aren’t part of Landmark (a taboo topic at Landmark). That said, I have yet to hear of any program that even resembles the SELP, and if you’ve got a project you want to get done in a short time frame, it could be just right for you.

Duration 12 weeks, 1 evening session per week + 3 full Saturdays
Price $200
Official Website http://www.landmarkeducation.com
Tips for success – Pick a project you feel strongly about completing
– Don’t miss the weekly evening sessions
– Do the weekly coaching calls and speak up if you’re not getting a lot out of them
– Do the assignments
Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP)3.4999999999998Eleanor2010-04-01 17:01:17After completing The Landmark Forum and loving it, then slogging through the Advanced Course yet finding it very valuable, it was a forgone conclusion…
-Landmark Education,SELP$200Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP)After completing The Landmark Forum and loving it, then slogging through the Advanced Course yet finding it very valuable, it was a forgone conclusion…

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