All roads lead to Brad. As I’ve grown and as I develop myself as a husband, father, team member, and leader, what underlies everything is me. Every time I’ve wanted to focus on “the other”—like how do I deal with, change, and/or influence my wife, my kids, my boss, my coworkers—I have found that the answer most often is to focus on myself.
The work I’m doing at the Wright Graduate University is leadership training from the inside out.
Underlying my desires to be more effective in all these areas are yearnings for security, for contact, and a yearning to matter and to make a difference.
About 14 years ago, I started a leadership training journey that I’m grateful and proud to be on. Back then, I had just been laid off from a 15 year career. I was married with two young boys. I worked hard. I cared and always wanted to do a good job and take care of my family and my team at work. But I didn’t know, and hadn’t been asking myself, what it really meant to be an excellent employee, a great leader, a great husband and father.
I also didn’t know myself enough to look inside for my answers. I looked outside as I questioned what I should do in my career and how to be a good husband, father, and effective leader. Rather than uncovering a list of the right things to do, what I’ve been discovering is the authentic me.
Not only have I discovered, but I’ve become me through this coaching and leadership training.
I’ve been through an awesome and enlightening series of trainings and coaching at the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential. I have been involved in almost every non-credit course and training program available as I’ve sought my own personal development. The real power of this educational approach is the integrated combination of so many tools, techniques, disciplines and content, all with the intent of human emergence and bringing out our best, most authentic selves.
For a long while my participation in this leadership training was tightly controlled, irregular, and inconsistent. I would make big moves and rubber band quickly to my normal sedated state. To an extent this is normal and expected, but my “regression” was quite prolonged. What I didn’t share and didn’t express was the fear and anxiety I was feeling, all the while putting on a front and wanting so badly to prove to myself and the world that I could do and handle everything. I recall vividly, those early steps I took, sharing my fear and anxiety, experiencing reactions and coaching from others that were very different from what I had expected.
Abraham Maslow wrote about peak experiences, “where one seems to transcend beyond oneself in rare, exciting, oceanic, deeply moving, exhilarating, elevating experiences that generate an advanced form of perceiving reality, and are even mystic and magical in their effect upon the experimenter.”1
These leadership training programs are designed, in part, to invite these peak experiences, harvest the learns, and celebrate the grows.
Jack Mezirow plays a part in these courses, too. Mezirow writes of transformational learning and perspective shifts through creating experiences that challenge assumptions of the world and how we are in it.
In the leadership training I’ve participated in, I have done, been, and expressed things I didn’t know were in me—the depth of my pain, my fear, my caring, and even my anger when someone is not living to what I know them to be capable of. These classes and experiences and the coaching I’ve received have been a crucible for my discovery and becoming my true self. What an awesome combination and integration of training, experiencing, coaching, teaching, analyzing, celebrating I’ve done. And I’m not finished!
Combining all of the learning methodologies we use at the Wright Graduate University, I have the tools and the support needed to see and declare my purpose, which is to develop myself to my full potential, to be satisfied, and to have significant positive influence on those I make contact with.
To find my purpose, what all the training and coaching, and experiencing has taken me to, is me. All roads lead to Brad.
 Maslow, A.H. Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences. London: Penguin Books Limited, 1964.
Brad Biales work as a Vice President Fixed Income Technology for Northern Trust Bank. He has been a student at the Wright Graduate University for nine months, and received his BS in computer science from Northwestern University.