The RLND Short Course successfully energized participants to step forward as leaders in their jobs and communities. One participant indicated their enthusiasm “Excitement about getting more involved locally. I CAN make a difference!” Participation was to capacity as 30 individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds came together to learn about their professional personalities, leadership, and network with one another. “Networking and hearing (that) the many different speakers all had something to offer,” was a take-away of another participant. Professional speakers from consulting firms, Authenticity and DLN Consulting, DC Coston, President of Dickinson State University, and community speakers Ryan Brooks, Vawnita Best, and Dale Patten brought their expertise and experiences to share with the participants. These speakers were able to highlight a variety of leadership styles, backgrounds, and levels of community participation. Marie Hvidsten, Director of RLND, was a key resource and connecting factor in all of the courses with abundant knowledge. Katie Dilse, Keynote Speaker, sent the class on its way after a very inspiring and motivational talk.
There was also focus on action. Participants organically came to the development of groups that each took on community minded projects: promotion of available civic opportunities, GED and alternative education options, Rec Center expansion, burgers in the park and career outreach to youth. The groups have continued to pursue their projects after the completion of the course. For most participants it was key to hear the successes of others involved in their communities and professions and signified it was, “Shared knowledge from experienced leaders, ones that have made positive impacts as leaders and great to meet other leaders in the community overcoming obstacles… “
The steering committee felt it a key element of this course to capture the energy and momentum the RLND Short Course created and continue to foster and provide opportunities for leadership development. The first step being taken to assure this continuation is an Emotional Intelligence Training. Emotional Intelligence profiling is similar to DiSC, Colors, or Myers-Briggs, that explores Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Awareness. Based on that profile, a person will learn to handle themselves in times of stress and learn to deal with others skillfully. This will be another tool for leaders to have available to them. The steering committee has also continued to lay ground work for a leadership organization for the Bowman Area and looks forward to providing development opportunities such as these as well as networking, social, civic and overall betterment for those interested in being leaders in their jobs, communities and lives.