Leadership Kenosha’s March theme was titled, “The Best Leaders are the Best Learners,” which highlighted the importance of continuous improvement. As leaders, we are not predisposed to greatness, and it is necessary to put in hard work to hone personalized attributes that make personalized strengths clearly defined, and it takes deliberate practice in order to master these skills.
Leadership Kenosha’s session was hosted at Gateway’s Horizon Center, a state-of-the-art facility for automotive and diesel technician training and aeronautics-pilot training. This was a great facility to discuss the importance of being as much of a learner as a leader. An overview of Gateway’s strategic focus on education was a great start to transition a mindset of continuous improvement. Executive Vice President Zina Haywood presented Gateway’s dynamic approach to their core mission and how to match educational instruction with the skills necessary in the mechanical industry. Gateway highlights the importance of adapting to change and continuously learning what skills are needed for students to be successful.
Continuing on the theme of education, Superintendent Dr. Sue Savaglio gave an overview of the Kenosha Unified School district and its role within our community. Dr. Savaglio is an extremely passionate leader who demonstrates her ability to strive for excellence not only for herself, but also for her faculty, students, and parents. It was clear that Dr. Savaglio’s presentation was filled with energy and being realistic not only about the past successes of KUSD, but also the challenges that face her department through budget constraints and policies that are sometimes externally controlled through federal and state law. Dr. Savaglio’s ability to meet these challenges head-on was enlightening with her quote, “We cannot control the circumstances we face, but we do control how we respond.”
The final chapter to our session was focused on a presentation by H. Muir based off the book and Gallop Poll from Strengths Finder 2.0. Mr. Muir brought energy and enthusiasm into the room by engaging the class with the results from the group’s individual poll taken to discover each member’s leadership brand. Mr. Muir stated that confidence is one of the biggest reasons why leaders fail. With the assistance of 34 leadership attributes, he wanted to convey the importance for leaders to understand and play to their strengths and become confident about how to define themselves as leaders. Everyone has unique skills and abilities, and it is important for people to stop focusing on weakness. It was stated that 22 out of 100 people are disengaged when attempting to fix their weaknesses while only 1 out of 100 were disengaged when focusing on strengths.
The takeaway message from this leadership session was to engage and strengthen individualized leadership attributes. Continuous improvement is necessary for all leaders, no matter how many years a person has been in a specific job or career. Continue to learn and you will continue to grow.
Matthew Collins, Kenosha County Division of Parks