By Lisa Dugan, Director, North Coast Regional DCSS
The primary goals of the Leadership Institute this year were to connect leaders within the program, and to create an experience that will provide for the ongoing learning that is essential in our modern-day organizations.
It is always fruitful when we can create a nexus between the perspectives, ideas from program leaders at the local and state level, as well as thought-leaders that are external to our program. This year was no exception.
Feedback is still coming in from attendees who overwhelmingly found value in the week away from the daily grind to spend some time in contemplation, renewal, and learning. Here are a few of the responses we have received:
“It was one of the best training experiences I’ve ever had. The presentations were collaborative, open, and honest. The speakers did an excellent job at motivating us to continue to grow and be proud of being part of the child support family. Great training, and very well organized!”
“Every workshop was incredible whether it challenged my beliefs, brought new ones in, or reaffirmed existing ones; each workshop taught me a new lesson on leadership.”
“It would be hard for me to list one thing or even 10 things [I liked best] because everything flowed so well together, it meshed and worked bringing leadership full circle.”
“I would send my entire county if I could, it was very inspiring and so much to take in.”
Our guest speaker, Dr. Frank Benest (he told me upon introduction to “drop the doctor” please), tied many of the week’s threads together for us in his closing presentation. Frank demonstrated to us that, as leaders, it is imperative to reflect upon our own life story. Our narrative informs our perspective. We were asked to consider the person who shaped our life story, and, the gift they gave us that we are now as leaders, compelled to give away. And, as we come to understand that the problems we face are adaptive and bigger than we can solve alone, that finally, relationships are the essence of leadership.
I can’t express how moving the Leadership Institute was for me this, my third year as chair. I am still unpacking all the take-aways, including the many remarkable people I was fortunate to spend the week with. Based on the experience, I can say that California Child Support is ready to take on the future and accomplish extraordinary things. Thanks to everyone who gave their time to make the week meaningful.