2011 Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo in Los Angeles Recap

Each year, the Larson Leadership Summit brings together 50 ULI full members at the Spring Council Forum for a half-day program designed to enhanced personal and organizational leadership skills. This invitation-only event includes a keynote speaker and interactive sessions to provide both substantive content and informal peer-to-peer sharing of experiences.

ULI hosted a number of leadership sessions at its 2011 Fall Meeting and Urban Land Expo in Los Angeles. From panel discussions to a personal leadership workshop, professionals in attendance were afforded unique opportunities to gain new insights and hone their leadership skills. The leadership sessions included:

New Models for Leadership

The New Models for Leadership session began by looking at leadership in all areas of life and how to apply those examples both in our industry and everyday. A large, diverse panel of ULI trustees shared their experiences and lessons learned over the years while a graphic artist sketched out the major concepts discussed. Examples ranged from mega-sports stars to entrepreneurs to under-appreciated public servants. The discussion soon turned to the audience, creating a beneficial dialogue for all those in attendance. It concluded with a variety of excellent examples and tips represented in a unique visual display.

View from the Top

The View from the Top session brought women leaders to the forefront to share their professional experiences and offer career advice. Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Dean of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and Partner at the architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP, moderated a lively discussion. The panel also focused on today’s current environment in which they shared opportunities and challenges of operating in international markets, particularly China and South America. The panel expressed their mutual challenges of assessing risk and understanding cultural differences while agreeing that foreign investment is an extremely attractive opportunity in today’s market.


The Crossover session brought thought leaders from outside the industry into a panel session focusing on how to lead your organization to more business through marketing and advertising effectively. The panel pulled out all the stops with a lively, theatrical production with 3D visual presentations and music. By tapping into the creative process, these thought leaders showed an audience of industry professionals how to “think differently.

Who’s in Charge of Your Ship?

The session Who’s In Charge of Your Ship? was led by Gordon Davidson and Corinne McLaughlin, founders of the Center for Visionary Leadership. They discussed their core ideals of what becoming an effective leader really means. Davidson and McLaughlin told the audience that it is critical to understand and develop your inner, spiritual self to successfully handle today’s uncertain and ever-changing times. Further, they advised that personal values should play a critical role in defining yourself, as they will help you be a successful leader through times of personal struggle.

Leverage your Strengths for Soaring Success

Other leadership sessions held during the fall conference included Leverage your Strengths for Soaring Success. Author and entrepreneur Devora Zack led the session exploring how to use your natural strengths to achieve success. Those in attendance took a self assessment to help create their own personal leadership action plans. Zack taught and explained how to turn your own perceived leadership flaws into new, unrealized strengths.

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