Attending Level 5 - Network Leader

02 December 2019 | Neal Mannas

ISS Level 5

Early Saturday morning, I attended an event called the Network Leader in Bahrain through Level 5. This was my first time attending a Level 5 event and was unsure of my expectations. It started well; the school was modern, the location was nice, and the classroom was modern and conducive to learning.

The networking and conversations began almost immediately. It was amazing how easy it was to discuss issues going well at our schools, areas for improvement, and external threats. Speaking with everyone and identifying our many similarities at our schools led to transparent, open communication, which could lead to better problem solving.

There was an open forum that covered four topics. The topics were determined by the participants, and I was surprised that one of the topics I wrote was included. I always thought of my topic being a finance-related issue, but as I heard other discuss the topic, I realized it was a much broader topic. The other participants' outside view made me change how I approach the issue.

There was a special guest who provided seed capital to startups in Bahrain. His views on education were interesting. In his opinion, he felt education required a lot of change. He felt education needed to put an emphasis on improvement rather than failure and letter grades. Students needed to be problem solvers, critical thinkers, and leaders of change.
Lastly, we learned about STAR analysis – Situation, Task, Action, Result. We discussed Steve Barkley and coaching and went through why coaching is important at ISG.

Why was this conference a success for me? I think it broadened my learning. Usually, I attend conferences that are specific to my area of operations – finance. Yet, at this conference, many of the same questions I have been asking and trying to solve, others had the same questions but were trying to find solutions from another angle. Once we spoke, we realized both of our ideas could result in a better solution. Learning is about balance and going out of our comfort zones and that is what made this conference so valuable.