Emerging Leaders

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Save the dates! 2024 dates coming!

Program Intent:  This is an intensive learning journey and requires focused attention to the curriculum.  This is not intended to be a series of educational sessions, but a learning journey where content is connected and builds. Content areas are those aligned with the national certification plan and national accreditation program for parks and recreation agencies. The content areas identified will be continued through to the anticipated Mid Level Manager's School the Abrahams-Jones Academy.

Delivery Format and Attendance Requirements:  This program will be delivered IN PERSON at the Elks Loge Youth Camp in Umatilla FL.  You'll be expected to stay the entire time from November 14-16, 2023.

Target Audience:  Professionals new to supervisory positions, or those ready to assume a supervisory role within their organization.  Applicants should have been identified as a skilled and capable professional ready to assume the first time leadership role in their organization.  Must minimally be at the level of comprehension and understanding identified in the pre-requisite content areas of the program. 

*Please note: class topics/speakers are subject to change.


History of Parks and Recreation 
Knowing from where we came is integral to planning the future for ourselves and the profession. The very foundations of the parks and recreation field have not changed, but expectations of those we serve have. Information on how you can reposition your agency for success will be discussed so you can develop your personal progression plan.

Strengths Based Leadership
This interactive workshop will guide participants through an exploration of the strengths you have to offer and how to put those to work. Using results from your personal assessment as a jumping off point, you will learn more about your competitive edge, create plans to use and develop their strengths to achieve professional goals, and also see others that you work with in a new light. Not only will this help you better understand yourself individually, but also through group activities, you will discover techniques for your own teams within your agency. 

Building Your Network
During the Building Your Network sessions, you will have the opportunity to talk with seasoned professionals and your fellow participants. Ask your burning question, get that nugget of advice, or provide helpful resources for others who are facing the same challenges and opportunities as you.

People Management: From Greetings to Goodbyes
How to find the right people and keep the right people. In today’s war for talent, we need to be sure we are RIGHT. Are we recruiting the RIGHT people and ensuring they are doing the RIGHT things at the RIGHT time and for the RIGHT reason. It is also critical that we are prepared to have the difficult conversations needed when the people who are not RIGHT need to be coached or transitioned to a more appropriate role within or outside of your agency.

Ninety percent of what you are saying isn’t coming out of your mouth! As leaders, it is critical that we understand the power of clear, concise, and professional communication, and that the burden lies on us as the communicator to be understood. It is our job as the messenger to eliminate the margins for misunderstanding.

External Relationships That Create Advocates
The expectations of external audiences are often wildly different than the path you have created internally. This session will prepare you to identify potential advocates within your external audiences, understand expectations of those audiences and how to manage those in order to create mutually beneficial goals. Within these audiences may lie your best advocate. Productive Decision Making and Critical Thinking Leaders are asked to make many decisions in their daily work. Some allow the luxury of time to prepare and analyze; others must be made quickly. Effective leaders under-stand the need to think quickly and inclusively of everything necessary to make sound decisions and recommendations. Our own implicit bias will inevitably creep into decision making processes; by understanding those biases, we can incorporate critical thinking about how to solve challenges and take advantage of opportunities.

Change Management
In·san·i·ty /in’sanƏdē/ - Doing the same thing you’ve always done and expecting different results. The only constant in our world is change, and as the environment around us changes, so must our operations, services, and processes. But leading change can be just as uncomfortable as the change itself. This session will give insight to under-standing change, how to strategically plan for it, how to successfully implement it, and the skills needed to be an effective change agent.

Government Budgeting 101
Government budgeting is a bit different than home finance. Participants will learn a general overview of government budgeting. During this session we will dive into learn-ing about direct vs indirect cost, cost analysis, and price strategy. We will also explore why data and the evaluation of programs are important to the budget. Time Management and Delegation The largest resource you have available for any program you're planning or project you're managing is time. During this session we will talk about time management for yourself and others and the importance of prioritizing and delegating. Identify techniques for delegating tasks and monitoring progress without micromanaging your team members.

Building Organizational Culture
As an emerging leader, understanding the culture of your agency is critical. Culture is not just about your mission statement, it is about the values that you as a leader instill in your team and how those values are integrated into all facets of what you do, how you do it, and why you do it. Culture not communicated and not visible in an organization's workforce is a recipe for lack of team commitment and often contributes to confusion and lack of performance.

Personal Progression Planning
You have now transitioned from an employee to an identified LEADER. This session will focus on the key components of transitioning into a leadership position including the changing roles and responsibilities along with interpersonal dynamics. Understanding your strengths and identifying areas of need-ed improvement will allow you to create personal goals for traveling on your career path. Learn to balance your expectations for climbing the career ladder with trends within the industry, and the needs of your own agency. Under-stand that moving up can sometimes mean moving out.

Putting It All Together
We started with your personal strengths, focused on managing people, dis-cussed communication and how that works with external audiences to create advocates, moving into decision making and critical thinking, understanding basic budgeting, identifying pitfalls of time management and opportunities for delegation, applying all of these to identify our organizations’ culture, and are ending with you creating a plan for your own career advancement. We started with you and we are ending with you!


12:30 pm Check In
1:45 pm Welcome/Introduction
2:45 pm Sessions
6:30 pm Dinner with Group
7:30 pm Evening Activity
7:00 am Breakfast with Group
8:00 am Sessions
12:30 pm Lunch/Group work
1:45 pm Sessions
6:30 pm Dinner with Group
7:30 pm Evening Activity
7:30 am Breakfast with Group
9:00 am Sessions
12:00 pm Lunch

12:45-2:30 pm Sessions
2:30-3:00 p.m. Wrap Up & Depart