Let me begin this blog by acknowledging what an honor it is to have been nominated and named to the LEAD Polk, Class of 2017. As defined by the program, “Participants in LEAD Polk are citizens who hold volunteer and mid-to-upper level management positions within their companies or organizations. Additionally, they have demonstrated a concern for community issues and volunteered their time with service organizations.”
“The LEAD Polk program is a multi-week course that immerses the participants in all areas of Polk County. Members meet for classes, tours and individual leadership training. In addition, the class participates in an opening retreat, team building, and graduation. The LEAD Polk program brings in top-level business, civic, and government leaders for discussion and question-and-answer sessions.”
Not only is it an honor to be named to the LEAD Polk Class of 2017, it is my distinct privilege to work alongside individuals in this group that represent important industries of the Polk County community including: Polk County Water Authority, Polk County Development Authority, Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Redmond, Lockheed Martin, Polk County Court System, Rockmart Business Alliance, Rockmart Community Development, Chick-Fil-A and Southern Company just to name a few.
As part of the program, LEAD Polk kicked off on August 1st in Rome, Georgia with an all-day leadership training retreat at Berry College that allowed participants to develop relationships and identify key characteristics of leadership needed to move Polk County forward. The morning session was lead by Brendan Leahy of the University of Georgia JW Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. Topics discussed include the importance of community, opportunities and challenges facing Polk County along with various icebreakers that allowed participants to identify each other’s strengths.
The evening session was lead by Berry College’s, Berry Outdoor Leadership Development team (BOLD) and featured team building tasks that challenged participants to complete increasingly difficult obstacles, that required teamwork and collaboration. The retreat was capped off by all participants completing a high ropes course that tested endurance, stamina and teamwork abilities. Participants first climbed a 2-3 story pole while assisting three other individuals up to the top with them. Once all four individuals reached the top they then must face the crowd below and jump while on a belay system.
The retreat concluded with friendships forged and skills gained. The LEAD Polk Class of 2017 will graduate on November 9, 2017 after completing courses on sociodemographics, diversity, education, agriculture, business, etc. Meetings will take place at various locations throughout Polk County.
ShawHankins is proud to be a platinum sponsor of the 2017 LEAD Polk Program.