Monday, October 28, 2013

The Four Cornerstones of Leadership: Leadership Institute

Geneva Rawlins is one of 5 District Support Specialists for the IN State Department of Agriculture- Division of Soil Conservation providing administrative support and leadership development opportunities for Indiana’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts. 

Ask anyone involved in any capacity within any community about the successes and struggles of their cause and most likely the common thread determining success or failure can be traced to leadership.  Any mission is dependent on leaders to envision, strategize and implement a plan for success, and preserving our natural resources for future generations is no different.  Our local Soil and Water Conservation Districts depend on the leadership of a Board of Supervisors to be at the forefront of the conservation movement in order to effectively serve our counties, and the Leadership Institute is one unique tool designed specifically to teach and challenge our local natural resource leaders and Soil and Water Conservation Districts. 

A series of four workshops build on each other, starting with defining what leadership is and how our personalities and perspectives affect how we serve within leadership positions.  Following workshops examine how we may better communicate with and listen to those we serve, and how Board dynamics effect the effectiveness and success of a Soil and Water Conservation District.  Finally, the Leadership Institute wraps up the series by discussing how we may further impact our communities through strategic planning and implementation. 

Because each workshop is hosted in a different location, an evening of networking is usually planned which also gives participants an opportunity to experience a unique aspect of the local community.  The  most recent Leadership Institute workshop was hosted in Lafayette, IN and Supervisors and Staff from Soil and Water Conservation Districts across the state participated in a Howl Night at the local Wolf Park, where they were given limited interaction with the wolves through howling & communicating with the wolves. 

The next Leadership Institute workshop will focus on communicating and building relationship in your community and with partnering agencies and other organizations.  This workshop will take place Dec 6-7 in Madison, IN, with a Christmas home tour to follow the evening of the 6th.   Please contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District for more information!

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