Hello there . . . again! If you have been a long-time subscriber to my blog, then you know that I often talk about leadership issues. I've shared the story of my "Old Ball-Coach" who was selected as the National Coach of the Year (my most read post this year) and how the effect of losing this leader turned a very talented group of basketball players into a bad team. I've told you about the Greatest Leadership Lesson I Ever Learned. And, those who followed my old blog got to hear how my Dad got the team bus moving--rescuing this very same Coach when the Bus Driver Wouldn't Move the Bus. We're told you about "Broken Leaders" and finding the courage to continue to serve others. We've also shared our leadership resources and blog posts on ideas to help leaders communicate, and dealing with power struggles.
The fact is, I could tell you stories all day long about leadership simply because I have been "in the thick of it" my entire life--first as the oldest son of the man- who-is-running-the-college, then as college student leader (Resident Assistant, Club President), career manager (up to, and including. as Executive Director and President), current business owner . . . and the most critical leadership role . . . father of six children.
Now, we at HSC are partnering with a local church to put on our first Christian Leadership Conference! (Catchy name huh? I thought about calling it something cool--do we still say "cool?"--like "Prospect" reminiscent of the athlete that has great potential and is being recruited to play for the local school. But then I thought, "Who would have know what that conference was about?" Maybe I should have studied branding more. Maybe not.)
More about the conference in a minute. But I'd like to tell you about how this conference came "to be" and why I am excited to promote it.
How it came about
A friend, and former college classmate, read one of my posts about leadership. This friend, the president of a Colorado bank branch in a family-owned firm, had recently been part of a consulting process that required him to go through training on crucial conversations and emotional intelligence. He said it was rigorous, excruciating at times, and very beneficial. Upon reading one of my blog posts, he concluded that Christian Leaders needed some of the same training . . . and he decided that I should be the one to do it.
So we are doing it September 30th, in Lincoln, Nebraska and those attending will get to hear my friend "Murph" talk about his own personal experience in becoming a person-centered leader. You;ll also get to hear from Jim Tuttle, the Minister of Heartlands Church, who, along with HSC is sponsoring this conference. Jim is a leader with a heart. He is focused on helping Heartlands reach out into the community to help people where they are. He has his own personal experience being served by a church at a conference he himself attended when he became ill and he will be sharing this, and Heartlands commitment, to helping leaders at the conference.
Why I am excited about the conference
But that's not the only reason, why I'm excited about the conference. The main reason I am excited about it is because of the "core" of what we are going to offer . . . .
First, I've asked a friend, David Ensign, whom I admire a great deal to talk about the biblical principles of leadership. Why David? Because I have seen his leadership and scholarship "up close and personal." When I thought about who I would want to listen to talk about leadership, David was the first person that came to mind. David's life has demonstrated great courage through loss (the death of his wonderful wife, Linda, and his own cancer). He continues to be a leader despite those losses.
A. Keith Miller is a man I know very well. He's my brother and my consulting partner. Keith has extensive leadership experience. A twenty-one year career in the Air Force leading teams of more than 100 (including working across branches) he has a person-centered style that was recognized and rewarded for its efficacy. These Lessons Learned Around the World (a training manual he developed for leaders) is strengthened by his masters degree in organizational behavior and the consulting experience working with organizations and leaders.
Then there's me. I'm going to present simply because, well, I'm an expert. Oh, did I just say that out loud? Did I just lose my "humble-midwesterner club card? Well, as uncomfortable as it makes me to say it, I am. Senior leadership positions for more than 20 years. Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, Associate Professor, a professional counselor for more than two decades. Business owner. Consultant. You might say, I've done nothing to avoid the "expert label"--particularly when it comes to people issues--and you'd be right. So, I'm going to bring these experiences to the conference to talk about emotional intelligence and to engage participants in activities that will help them apply and learn about how to engage this critical element in their leadership actions.
Because we want this conference to be a powerful and practical learning experience. We are limiting attendance to the first 48 people who sign up. We will have some learning opportunities about leadership and emotional intelligence but one core element will be on getting some practical skills in communication and emotionally intelligent leadership.
Participants also have an optional opportunity to sit down one-on-one with an experienced advisor at the end of the conference to talk about their specific leadership challenges.(To take advantage of this, participants must register and then contact us to reserve a spot.)
Oh yeah, I'm also excited because we are going to have participants "defuse bombs!" No, of course not--not real ones. But we are going to utilize bomb defusal processes to teach some important lessons on communication and team work. We've done this with work groups and look forward to doing it again at the conference. Here is our Bomb Defusal Unit badge: