Chief Information Officer completes USG Executive Leadership Institute

Rob Laltrello said enrolling in the University System of Georgia’s (USG) Executive Leadership Institute was a decision he feels will positively impact his ability to serve others through his role as Chief Information Officer at Georgia Highlands College (GHC).

The Executive Leadership Institute, facilitated by USG’s Center for Leadership Excellence, is a comprehensive 120-hour development program facilitated by leading experts in leadership, during which scholars will enhance their leadership skills to prepare for potential high-level advancement within the System

Laltrello said one reason he enrolled in the institute was to step outside of his comfort zone.

“Fear of failure, impostor syndrome and wanting to stay in my introverted, comfortable, safe space were all front and center as I clicked the submit button to send my application,” Laltrello said.
“It was terrifying to me.”

But by stepping out of his comfort zone, Laltrello was exposed to different perspectives and saw how different individuals react to and engage in different scenarios.

“People are all wired differently from how you are wired,” Laltrello said. “Learning to understand how to utilize this to the advantage of the individual and the overall team or mission is key to success.”

In addition, he said he has learned how beneficial it is to seek trusted counsel and to engage with others to help spark personal growth. He described the Cross Mentoring Group (CMG) as the “heart” of the program, during which participants are grouped with four individuals from other institutions that have intentionally different personality characteristics.

Laltrello was in a CMG with an Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, a Director of Nursing, a Dean of the College of Business Administration and Interim Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs and a Department Head for the Division of Social Sciences.

“You are in constant contact with your CMG throughout the entire program and they hold you accountable for everything you say that you are going to do. You confide in them, and they confide in you,” Laltrello said. “They are all great people, and we intend to keep in contact moving forward.”

He said the job shadow component of the program, which allows participants to gain perspective of another position of one’s choice in the USG, was an invaluable experience.

“I was able to shadow Dr. Michelle Johnston, President of the College of Coastal Georgia (CCGA), for 40 hours while she led CCGA through their Strategic Plan rollout,” Laltrello said. “I was able to work alongside the CCGA Leadership Team while they worked through very similar issues that we are facing at GHC.”

Laltrello recommends the institute for anyone seeking to grow professionally and personally.

“I am extremely fortunate to be leading the Information Technology Division at GHC comprised of some of the most intelligent, kind and hardworking people I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with,” Laltrello said. “I hope to use the skills and philosophy that I have learned to help them all grow and make sure they are all making positive progress on their career’s journey.”