The PILOT Academy program was developed to help lodge chiefs, lodge advisers, and upcoming lodge leaders understand their personal leadership abilities, and how they can improve their leadership to positively influence their lodge. The curriculum is based on The Leadership Challenge, a book by James Kouzes and Barry Posner first published in 1987. The book's transformational leadership approach posits that all exemplary leaders exhibit five practices of leadership: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart.
These five practices guide the lessons that follow. The first session, “Preparing for Take-Off,” explains the five practices and guides the learners through a reflection, called the PILOT License. From this point onwards each session, or Layover, is led for smaller groups of learners, called flight crews. This small group setting is key for the learners to participate in guided reflections, activities, and discussions to help them discover the leadership experiences that have shaped them so far, and reveal the areas they need the most improvement. You will notice that the curriculum has a strong focus on the learner’s personal leadership abilities, rather than the specific operational aspects of leading a lodge. In doing so, the learner will be able to apply their newly found leadership abilities to a wide array of situations.