News

Moses Cook: Leadership Academy Made Me More Effective

December 29, 2016

After graduating from the John Payton Leadership Academy in 2014, Moses Cook continues to use the lessons he learned during the program in his role as executive director of D.C. Law Students in Court and as a current member of the D.C. Bar's Board of Governors.

Moses Cook, executive director of DC Law Students in CourtWith just one week left to apply, read more about Cook's experience and why you should join a group of rising leaders to learn how to become more effective and successful as you move along your career path.

The deadline to apply is January 6.

Why did you want to be part of the Leadership Academy?

As someone who was a new executive director, I was actively seeking new opportunities to expand my skillset. I was excited about the curriculum and opportunity to network with other attorneys as well. It was a welcome opportunity to learn, grow, and benefit from the mentoring of highly regarded practitioners.

How did you benefit from participating in the Academy?

The focus on strengths-based leadership and team-building was a tremendous benefit. I learned about building teams designed around individual strengths. It made me consider my decision-making and opened up my approach to hiring new staff.

As a person working for a legal service provider, why are programs like the Leadership Academy so important for your career?

Without the Leadership Academy, I can safely say I wouldn't be as effective in my job. I am someone who has been blessed to have the opportunity to devote my entire career to helping those less fortunate. My ability to become an effective advocate for others was critical to my success. For my organization to thrive, it was equally important that I have the necessary skills to ensure that we are around to help the lives of others at risk of losing their home or liberty.

Why should someone set aside this time to be part of the Academy?

It is a relatively small time commitment given the value of taking part of the Academy. I was (and am) a nonprofit director and found the Academy schedule manageable despite my hectic and sometimes erratic schedule.

What was your most memorable session?

They were all fantastic. I really enjoyed the creative, team-building exercises (spaghetti tower anyone!) and the importance of courage as you "dance" alone. Others will join!

Do you still keep in touch with people from class?

Yes! Many of my colleagues now serve with me on the D.C. Bar Board of Governors. I enjoy coming to the reception for all new Academy grads and catching up with my class.

Is there anything you were surprised to learn about yourself as a leader or something that reinforced a quality you had?

I realized that my leadership "style" was necessary for my organization. It certainly reinforced my desire to continue as a nonprofit director and build an amazing team to deliver pro bono legal services for District residents.

Last thoughts on your experience?

This Academy is such an amazing offering. The D.C. Bar has been so generous in its efforts to foster the development of its members. I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity to contribute to the Bar and look forward to returning the generosity. 


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