Magazine article Talent Development

David Campbell: Creator, Campbell Interest and Skills Survey Colorado Springs, Colorado

Magazine article Talent Development

David Campbell: Creator, Campbell Interest and Skills Survey Colorado Springs, Colorado

Article excerpt

David Campbell, ASTD's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, is best known as the creator of a leading career inventory, the Campbell Interest and Skills Survey, and a suite of leadership and development surveys. A pioneer in leadership assessment, Campbell joined the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in 1974, and played a key role in founding its campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and in developing CCL's innovative Leadership at the Peak program. After 35 years, Campbell retired from CCL in 2008.

Campbell's books include If You Don't Know Where You're Going, You'll Probably End Up Somewhere Else and If I'm in Charge Here, Why is Everybody Laughing? A former psychology professor, Campbell has been honored by the Society for Psychologists in Management, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the University of Colorado.

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Q YOU HELPED CCL ACHIEVE MASSIVE ORGANIZATIONAL GROWTH. WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE THERE?

That's easy: the two courses that we developed--the Leadership Development Program (LDP) for midlevel and younger managers and Leadership at the Peak (LAP) for people who are at or near the peak of their organization. Both are one week long and are saturated with assessment, feedback, and group facilitation techniques. Those courses have been popular and remarkably durable. LDP was started in 1974, and LAP in 1983; they have both been upgraded several times but overall are pretty much the same.

The programs have consistently been rated by the London Financial Times among the top 10 leadership programs internationally. They have been fascinating to work in. I've met literally hundreds of participants with diverse personalities from a wide range of settings, and they have consistently given the courses high ratings. The courses have been CCL's key offerings over a 35-year period.

Q YOU STATED THAT IN TERMS OF LEADERSHIP, THE ONLY CONSTANT YOU'VE SEEN AMONG LEADERS IS AN "ENERGETIC DRIVE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE." WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

Leadership has many flavors but whether it is military, corporate, government, athletic, or musical leadership, there is a lot of duplication of content over the different settings. For example, everybody believes in vision no matter what area you are working in. Another constant is that it takes a lot of work to make things happen. Anyone who wants to perform successfully in a leadership position has to have an internally intense drive to make things happen, particularly to make new things happen and not just to maintain a status quo. …

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