We know that the Delta community and its people deserve good governance, quality infrastructure, productive schools, an educated workforce, and first-rate healthcare. Earlier this month, we announced that the Delta Leadership Institute has opened its application process for its eighth Executive Academy. The Executive Academy aims to assemble committed community leaders who will work together to provide solutions for the Delta’s challenges. I firmly believe that developing great leadership in our communities is key to economic growth in the Delta region. At the heart of this region, there is a strong cultural and economic value tied to investing in our local leaders. The Executive Academy honors that value.
Leadership comes in many forms, many shapes and sizes, and each of us approaches it in our own way. There are those who charge out ahead, inspiring others and pioneering new grounds, new policies. There are those who work behind the scenes, quietly bringing people and groups together to solve a problem. There are those who challenge the status quo, forcing those in power to answer uncomfortable questions. And there are those who know how to work within the system—whom to talk to, where to go, what to do and how to do it to get things done.
DLI’s Executive Academy is a leadership development initiative of the Delta Regional Authority in partnership with the University of Alabama’s College of Continuing Studies that has been providing communities and leaders with valuable experiences and education since 2005. Each year, the DRA seeks a diverse group consisting of government professionals, non-profit leaders, business leaders, education professionals, community leaders, economic and business development professionals, and faith-based community leaders. Five DLI participants and two alternates from each state are selected to take part in the Executive Academy. These participants must be from one of the 252 counties comprising the Delta Regional Authority and are required to attend all six sessions located in various cities throughout the Delta footprint as well as Washington, DC.
Those chosen to be a part of DLI’s Executive Academy are given an incredible opportunity to:
• Continue learning and increase understanding and knowledge of the issues that affect the Delta region,
• Improve leadership skills and to come together—community leaders from all different places, all walks of life—to share experiences and learn from each other,
• Develop new ways of thinking that foster regional innovative approaches, collaborations, and partnerships, and
• Take the knowledge and experience gained through DLI and return to our towns and counties ready to better serve the Delta community in their regions and at large.
Applicants are chosen to be a part of this prestigious group because of their commitment to civic engagement, to hard work, and leadership, and most of all because of their desire to increase their own knowledge and develop important skills. From this experience, participants may proceed to make changes in their own lives and put their skills to work improving the lives of others, especially here in the Delta.
Perhaps the most valuable resources that participants will have as alumni of the DLI are each other. Through this institute, members of the alumni organization, the Delta Leadership Network, will have worked and grown as a team, leaving DLI graduates with a close-knit network of fellow leaders across the Delta. It has always been a priority to find new ways to continually enhance the Delta Leadership Network’s effectiveness. The Network’s strength is in its members who are alumni of the Executive Academy and key leaders in their communities and organizations.
Members of the Delta Leadership Network may be selected as Academy Facilitators who will be invited to participate in current Executive Academy sessions, coaching groups during case studies and exercises. Facilitators will be assigned to one of the six sessions during the 2012-2013 Delta Leadership Institute. Training and travel expenses for Academy Facilitators will be provided.
There are all sorts of leaders among us with all sorts of leadership philosophies and styles, but whoever we are, wherever we are from, whatever we believe, the Executive Academy of the Delta Leadership Institute has the power to produce a united group of community servants.
EXECUTIVE ACADEMY DATES
October 9-12, St. Louis, MO
December 3-6, New Orleans, LA
February 23-27, Washington, DC
April 16-18, Memphis, TN
June 4-6, tba
July 9-11, Little Rock, AR
The application period is open now and will close on August 31. For more information about how to apply and be selected, please go to www.deltaleadership.org to begin the application process.