Monday, September 18, 2017

Workshop boosts division leaders’ skills

The second of three leadership workshops designed for IASB’s division officers, this one held in Mt. Vernon on Sep. 16, drew nearly fifteen board members. The training focuses on improving leadership skills and allows those in leadership posts to work together on best practices and to be recognized for their service to the Association.

The purpose of the event is to give division officers an additional professional development opportunity as they help the Association achieve its mission and goals.

Highlighting the day’s discussion and activities was guest speaker Patrick Muhammad, a terrific athlete from East St. Louis who went on to graduate from Kentucky State University, then teach for awhile, and earn his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University. He ultimately became an assistant principal before completing his Education Specialist in Educational Leadership.

Muhammad said true leadership is about who you inspire. Emphasizing that decisions are made 60 seconds at a time and leaders have to make a number of decisions, “those sixty-second intervals can change a life,” he said. “The decisions you make determine a human being’s future.”

Muhammad added that leadership is not about management, adding, “Managers manage things; leaders lead people.”

After lunch, the division leaders split into groups for part two of the workshop. Activities focused on roles within IASB divisions and allowed members to share concepts and practices that they have found beneficial for their areas.

The initial exercise allowed division officers who share the same title/position to work together creating an elevator speech. Attendees were tasked with defining what their position means within the Association, why it is important, and how it impacts member districts. The speeches are intended to be no longer than 30 seconds, or the time it takes for an average elevator ride.

One board member noted the value of the activity, stating that members don’t always understand the governing roles within IASB, so it will help the division leaders to be ready to explain the process.

The final table activity split members into three groups with the goal to discuss division meeting planning. Each group was tasked with sharing success stories that have been well received by board members in attendance.

Everything from meeting locations within a school or at an outside venue, program speakers and topics, breakout sessions, and even candidate briefings were discussed. After the success stories were recorded, the groups reviewed the suggestions to find concepts that would work within their own divisions.

One more division leadership workshop is scheduled for Jan. 27 in Naperville. Registration is available only to division officers, which includes the positions of director, chair, vice-chair, and resolutions chair. IASB maintains 21 geographic divisions that serve as a basis for Association governance and service delivery.