The John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute in Odessa is currently testing a new leadership training facility: the JBS Crisis Leadership & Learning Center (CLLC). Although primarily developed for the training of high school and college-age students, the CLLC is also available to outside groups seeking to develop team cohesion and leadership qualities, including for-profit companies.
The CLLC is intended to host simulations of important historical events, modified to fit the technology and the constraints of the classroom, for the purpose of teaching leadership to young Texans. A group of ten to twenty participants (present for now, but perhaps eventually connected through videoconferencing technology) are assigned leadership roles, such as President of the United States, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, National Security Advisor, etc. The participants are repeatedly given information to read and discuss over the course of several hours, and forced to make individual and group decisions based on that information. Through this process, we believe that participants will learn important lessons about how to communicate and lead under pressure and in times of crisis.
The CLLC also includes a news-style desk and green screen. As part of the simulation, one or more students may be asked to provide a statement to the media, sitting at the desk and reading off a teleprompter into a camera, simulating the responsibility that public-sector leaders face to present their decisions to the public.