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Setting Yourself Up for Success at CXO

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into the CXO Fellows Program. As a rising leader, you’re about to experience a wealth of professional growth experiences. This is not a pool that you dip your toe into; this is an experience that you’ll want to dive head first into and fully immerse yourself in all of the opportunities.

As the excitement begins to wear off and reality kicks in, you might find yourself wondering just what you’ve gotten yourself into. After all, you already have a lot on your plate each day, and being a fellow adds a new layer of responsibility to your week.

We get it. We’ve been there, as has every CXO fellow since the program began. Over the years we’ve compiled a list of simple steps to set yourself up for success in the program while not getting overwhelmed.

1. Block Your Calendar for the Sessions This is not the same as adding the sessions to your calendar. This is about making your time in the CXO Fellows Program a priority in your week. Treat it as you would a standing meeting with your boss, a project deadline, or a date with your significant other. The sessions are a must not miss, and your staff and team members need to know this. Obviously, situations come up, but fully committing yourself and making it clear to those around you that you will not be available for anything else during that time will allow you to stay focused on the sessions.

2. Be Present During the Sessions We have all grown accustomed to online meetings in the past few years. It’s become very easy to “tune in and tune out” during meetings - you are logged in, but you are not engaging. During the sessions, it’s important to log in on time, keep your camera on, and actively participate. This also means that your cellphone is set to “do not disturb” and that you don’t have 15 other tabs open on your computer that you’re checking every few minutes. Like any program, you only get out of the CXO Fellows Program what you put into it, so it’s important to keep those little distractions that we all have to a minimum during the sessions and engage fully with the speakers and other fellows.

3. Be Receptive, Open, and Sharing Among the benefits of being a CXO fellow is exposure to new information and processes. You’ll often discover that life outside of your agency is quite different. It’s important to keep an open mind as new ways are revealed. And it’s just as important to share your own unique viewpoint and experiences with the other fellows. The program is an exercise in growth for everyone, so staying open to new ideas while sharing your own perspective is vital to your success in the program.

4. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone The CXO Fellows Program is designed to push you out of your comfort zone and experience personal and professional growth. Leadership development sessions will focus on collaboration, effective communication, and innovation. Making the most of the sessions will often mean breaking through self-limiting barriers you might not even realize that you have built for yourself. It may not be comfortable at first, but that means that you’re growing and that growth will take your professional life to places you never imagined.

We are excited to experience this journey with you and watch you grow your skills to then bring them back to your home agency. As you get into the groove of the program and figure out what works for you, share those tips back with your cohort members and with us so that we can all grow together.

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