Leadership Development on High Ropes
The National Leadership Development Center in Israel (The Israeli JH Ranch in Ariel)
TV Channel 10, “Nekuda.Il” Show
December 18th 2015
Hosted by Anat Korol
- The trainers are the heart and the center of the national leadership development center in Israel. The staff of this center is professional in high- ropes leadership training and team work.
With us two committed trainers, who represent more than 20 instructors of the center’s staff, and they are determined to implement leadership values: Ashmoret Mishal and Moria Or.
Tell us how did you find your way to the center?
Ashmoret: “After my military service as a trainer, I had heard there is a special center in Israel that is very unique for group training. So I figured I shall check it out – and then I realized that it is leadership development training in challenging high ropes facilities. When I arrived to the center – I just fell in love.”
- What is your role there?
Moria: “We are the instructors that lead the entire day from the moment the group arrives to the center, whether it’s a security force group or youth. We lead the group through meaningful processes on low and high ropes, and then we lead the discussions and implement the main values and skills we learned from the physical experience, per the group’s goals.”
- Tell us about the change that the team mates go through during the day at the center?
Ashmoret: “It’s amazing. At the morning we receive a group of people, and by the end of the day it feels like the group has transformed into a whole different one. On the personal level, people go through a very unique and meaningful experience that opens them up, exposes them and really bonding them. On the group level, they leave with sense of consolidation and become more united, because of the meaningful process they had just gone through.”
- Describe the process that the participants go though
Moria: “We start with a short opening and “ice breakers” to diminish a bit the stress and anxiety that arise from the high ropes and challenging tasks. We start on low ropes for practicing strategies and right planning while still in the comfort zone, and then we move on to the high ropes. Of course we lead the day with much patience and sensitivity, as it’s not easy for anyone to go on 10 feet high. But we do it carefully and slowly, and it’s worth each moment.”
- What stands out in the center and makes it more unique, in your opinion?
Ashmoret: “First of all, the facilities are extraordinary, and there are no equal to them, that allow leadership development and team work on these heights. Moreover, the trainers – they are educational staff and professional that really get the groups emotionally and psychologically engaged in the process, in a way that the teams do not only remember the high ropes at the end of the day, but also remember the trainers.
And of course, the values of the center: beautiful values of empowerment and leadership that are emphasized in the deepest and most powerful way – there in the heights – in the coping that is really not simple, and very stirring and inspiring.”
- Is leadership a quality that is being taken seriously enough by your younger participants, or is it more cynical than the actual vision?
Ashmoret: “In Israel, sometimes the term “leadership” is not very understood. In the U.S, leadership is more of a popular term that people are familiar with. Yet in our workshops the participants understand that leadership starts with leading ourselves. If I want to lead people after me, I first need to know how to lead myself- which is more of “internal locus of control”.
So, we first emphasize: let’s build ourselves, becoming our own leaders, and then we will be able to start leading others.
I also believe that a leader is basically anyone who is guiding others. It can be even be a bus driver who is in control of his passengers. All of us are eventually leading groups in one way or another.”
- I definitely agree with you. Share with me a meaningful and memorable experience from your work at the leadership center.
Moria: “The truth is the everyday I go back home with a touching story. I recall one specific example of a female police officer that was entire life terrified of heights. During the day at the center with her co-workers she received so much support from her team mates that she slowly but surely participated in all of the challenging tasks and overcame them like a hero. Her conclusion of the day, mentioned in the note she wrote in our visitors’ book is that she did not understand if she was just born again, or she gave a birth – that was her emotional experience. I remember is very well and it showed me that it does not matter how old you are, you can re-discover yourself every day, when you try hard enough.”