Written by Jackie Larson
One measure of a community’s greatness is the voluntary contributions made by its leaders. The future of our community is closely tied to the quality and commitment of our next generation of leaders; the individuals who are needed to serve on boards, commissions, in community groups and in elected positions. This kind of leadership talent must be aggressively sought out, nurtured and given the tools to lead successfully. As we look out into the community, many of the most profound accomplishments have been made possible through the leadership of volunteers giving of their time and talents. The Chamber is a wonderful example of volunteer leadership. It’s Board of Directors as well as all of the committees and task forces are made up of volunteers that give of their time and share their expertise and talents. We need to realize that it takes the efforts of willing leaders to build and better the community.
The business community and individuals can be a part of building leaders for tomorrow by nurturing potential leaders today. Seeking out opportunities for those with leadership talent, providing responsibilities in daily routine or through special projects, companies can teach and cultivate the leadership abilities of their staff thus producing leaders for their organization for years to come. Individuals may also be proactive in seeking out opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and volunteer for such leadership roles that will give them the chance to stretch and practice their abilities to direct and accomplish results through group actions.
The Chamber sees this nurturing or leadership as a vital part of sustaining the growth of our community. We admonish and invite the businesses in our area to review what they are doing to foster leadership in their companies and how they can foster leadership talent or allow those with demonstrated skills to apply their talent. We invite individuals and the business community to become more active in volunteering their time to build the community in whatever capacity they see fit.
The Chamber, understanding the importance of nourishing new leaders and helping to foster leadership talent, instituted the Leadership Program in 2004. Taking cues from the many wonderful programs already in place throughout the United States and Idaho, the Chamber will enter its eighth year hosting the leadership program.
This eight month program is geared at cultivating the needed talents, knowledge and networks that help create an effective leader. Each year, the aim of the program is to increase a base of informed and capable leaders who are committed to using their talents to meet the needs of our businesses and community.
All of the sessions are designed to be highly interactive, stimulating and thought provoking. A typical day might involve a fast-paced combination of group discussion, exercises, field trips and presentations by respected local leaders. Class sessions will be held in locations appropriate to the topic, the community is the classroom. The instruction will not reflect any one solution or political viewpoint but rather will present varied and diverse approaches to problem solving. Participants will be expected to share their unique experiences and learn from one another.
The 2014 program will be held once a month typically from eight-thirty in the morning to five in the afternoon. Areas of exploration in 2014 will include: Personal Leadership Skills, Industry & Agriculture, Local Government, Health Care, Education, Law & Justice, Media, and Tourism. 2014 Mini-Cassia Leadership will begin on January 16, 2014 and graduation will be in August. If you or someone in your company would like to participate, the registration deadline is January 13, 2014 and class space is limited to 18 participants. Tuition is $395, all transportation, meals and materials will be provided. Tuition must be paid prior to the first session. For more information, please call the Chamber at 679-4793.
This community draws strength and moves forward through the efforts and abilities of those who are willing to work at making a difference. Leadership is not only the directing and teaching of others, but more importantly the courage to take that first step towards getting something done.