I had an experience Friday, September 5, that combined my 30-plus year communication/PR/IMC management career, my love for and career-long involvement in professional associations, and my new teaching career. I designed and facilitated a leadership workshop and strategic planning session for the incoming officers of Towson’s PR Group, comprised of PRSSA and IABC student chapter members.
It was extraordinary. The officers for 2008-2009 are highly motivated to begin with. They consistently exhibited enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and dedication during the all-day event.
The morning was devoted to the study of management and leadership, contrasting the differences and skills needed for both. This will prove valuable to these leaders as they assume responsibility for the organization and its day-to-day management challenges.
Management involves planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the use of organizational resources to achieve results. We isolated and captured what this means for the Board collectively and for each individual position on the Board.
But leadership is another matter. Managing successfully day to day is at the heart of organizational officers’ responsibility. But to be a leader involves interpersonal influence that gets individuals and the group to act. That is like herding cats.
These leaders explored what it means to achieve coordinated action as a leader and manager. The quality of their thought and the depth of their commitment was exemplary. That came clear as we conducted strategic planning in the afternoon. While the planning will be ongoing, we made a great start Friday. We will build on it in the days to come.
As I pointed my certified pre-owned, fully-optioned Buick Park Avenue home to Virginia for the weekend, I smiled all the way. It was a magnificient day seeing these fine young leaders dedicate themselves to a cause greater than themselves and do the hard work to be competent at it.