by Peggy Young
Riverland Community College
June 24 marked the kickoff of the 2021-22 NCMPR Leadership Institute at the Gaylord Rockies Resort in Denver, Colorado. This inaugural program presented a unique opportunity right out of the gate – hybrid attendance for the two-day event. With 10 students in the room and nine joining us via Zoom from across the nation, the session tested my instructional abilities – and the strengths of the IT folks at the Gaylord. No need to worry however, both days were flawless, with strong engagement from all involved. Nineteen charismatic participants from a variety of backgrounds and positions came together to get to know each other, take a deep dive into their strengths, define their leadership styles, and begin forming their leadership strategies. When asked what the “aha!” moment was from Thursday’s session, one participant answered, “Recognizing that I can lead from anywhere in the institution; I don’t need a title to be a leader.”
Following the kick-off event, this group of 19 NCMPR Leadership Institute participants will meet each month via Zoom from July 2021 through February 2022 to study leadership topics such as diversity and inclusion, critical thinking, dealing with difficult people, setting goals and share relevant experiences. Each participant will also be assigned a mentor (a professional in the marketing and public relations world) who will help the participant further define their leadership style, identify opportunities to maximize strengths and provide feedback to presentation prep. The program culmination will take place in Denver, Colorado, in March 2022, with each participant delivering a final presentation on a leadership topic of their choice and – the grand finale – graduation!
Peggy Young has been with Riverland Community College in Austin, Minnesota, since 1990 and joined the Riverland Customized Training and Education team in 2008. Her areas of focus include leadership and management and providing Strengths-based training as a Strengths Educator. Young works with individuals and business clients to provide solutions through customized training with a focus on curriculum enhancement and extended learning initiatives. For the past 11 years, she’s partnered with students, community members and employers to assist them in being intentional about utilizing their strengths to more effectively impact their work and their lives.