Leadership

“BE A BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND.”

Every community needs good leadership – truly great leaders are not in leadership roles for personal gain but lead in order to serve other people and are trusted to take the people where they want to go.
Recognizing the need to train individuals to become great community leaders, the Chamber established Leadership Jefferson City in 1988. During each one-day session in the 11-week program, the class takes “field trips” all around Jefferson City to see a side that most residents don’t get to see.
Each day focuses on a different “segment” such as recreation, volunteerism, health & wellness and state government just to name a few. For the Arts & Rec session, class participants were able to take an exclusive guided tour inside the walls of the abandoned Missouri State Penitentiary. During the “industry” session, the class got to see workers in action at Scholastic, Morris Packaging and Midwest Block & Brick. One of the classes favorite sessions was “media” where they got to see the studio set at KRCG. These tours are designed around the Leadership Class, which in itself is exclusive selection.
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“For many bright, young professionals, it is important to make a difference, or even, make their mark in this world.”

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“For many bright, young professionals, it is important to make a difference, or even, make their mark in this world.”

Applications are collected over a short period of one month from applicants from all segments of employment and a selection committee then determines who to approve for the class. The 30 applicants chosen are then celebrated by the previous Leadership Class Graduates. The previous class graduates deliver blue balloons to the winners at their place of business. The excitement of being selected is not only held by the employee, but also by their employer and co-workers.

Employers benefit from having their staff go through the Leadership Jefferson City program as well.

Besides getting to know the inner-workings of the city and gaining a greater knowledge of the diverse industry in Jefferson City, employers know that their staff will develop professionally during the program. Since the class is together for 11 sessions, participants have plenty of time to develop relationships and network with those from other industries. They are also exposed to the multitude of opportunities available for them to get involved in the community with their business or to volunteer. The Leadership program has always had more applicants than slots available and continues to thrive 30 years later as class after class successfully meet the requirements for graduation and become better prepared to lead, volunteer, and make a difference.
© Lloyd Grotjan / Full Spectrum Photo

“the friendships formed riding around on a school bus for 6 months are something I will never take for granted!”

Leadership Class of 2018 graduate Natalie Newville called the experience “invaluable.” “It is not only a remarkable opportunity to learn more about Jefferson City, but a great way to form invaluable professional relationships throughout the community. Sessions are informative, and I learned so much about the place where I live and work. But it’s important to know that it is not all about learning about different industries.
Our class was able to support three local organizations through a final fundraiser, and I feel more connected to our community than ever before. Not only that, but the friendships formed riding around on a school bus for 6 months are something I will never take for granted!”
For many bright, young professionals it is important to make a difference, or even, make their mark in this world. Fortunately for the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce, many young professionals are finding Jefferson City is the right sized community to do just that. In other words, they can “be a big fish in a small pond” because at relatively young ages, they are serving on boards of directors, heading up major community campaigns and holding other leadership roles that are truly forming the future of our community. And, many of them agree that they would not be able to accelerate into these types of leadership roles in a larger metropolitan area. But, in Jefferson City,

they are a driving force in the Chamber’s new community strategic plan to grow Jefferson City.

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