As at 2012, NLI had mobilized 43 credible and highly accomplished Nigerian leaders through the Senior Leadership Program. The Senior Fellows have gone through NLI/Aspen Institute’s values-based leadership seminars and have reflected on the ideals and ideas that define a good society. More fundamentally, in climbing the mountain of leadership, the Senior Fellows have had to tackle critical issues and take tough decisions. All these experiences, undoubtedly, provide lessons for NLI Associates. Furthermore, NLI believes that leadership is generational and transferable. In order for leadership to be transferred as a trust, to the future generation, opportunities needed to be provided to discover, practice, and refine the leadership qualities of the Associates through interactive learning from the Guest Speakers.
This was the fundamental premise for organizing the Guest Speaker Forum where accomplished leaders were invited to address a group of Associates on themes related to: building blocks for effective leadership; character and psychology of a leader; responsibility of a leader; and accountable leadership. The interactive sessions were designed as a presentation, on topical issue, and an interactive session (question and answer segment) of frank discussions in which Associates asked questions that are illuminating on the varied and timeless wisdom of practical leadership decisions and experiences.
Through active engagement of the Guest Speakers, the Associates were able to benefit from untested, unconventional, and new leadership ideas in their (Associates) personal and professional undertakings. The Guest Speakers were requested to use topical case studies and/or personal experiences to provide experiential learning to the Associates. Given economies of scale – location of majority of NLI Senior Fellows and Associates – the event was alternated in Lagos, Abuja,London and Washington DC.