UACES Facebook Reflecting on the First iLEAD Cohort III Virtual Seminar
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Reflecting on the First iLEAD Cohort III Virtual Seminar

by Genean Butler, Associate for Administration - July 24, 2023

iLEAD III Virutal Seminar July 21, 2023Genean Butler, member of iLEAD Cohort III, writes about her experience in the July virtual seminar.

The day started as a stormy Friday, but there was sunshine in the iLEAD program. Dr. Steve Siegelin and Dr. Julie Robinson, with their smiling faces, introduced the ILEAD Cohort III.

We opened the session by introducing ourselves and telling the location in which we worked and the job that we were blessed to hold. We had a lengthy discussion on what it means to be a leader and the different leadership styles. 

After the large group discussion, we divided into small groups and discussed leadership further. The group I was placed in had both familiar faces and new to me colleagues. We quickly chose a leader for the group and got to work.

As a group, we decided that we preferred a "servant leader." Those who empower, inspire, lead, motivate, and share vision with a “How can I help you?” attitude. A leader who knows you can do your job and gives you direction without stifling your creativity. A leader who supports you and helps to make you aware of any possible problems they see before it is brought up in an evaluation.  

We shared experiences and examples of hands-on leaders from our past. Our group session was uplifting and inspiring. We probably could have talked about this subject for hours. Each person was engaged in conversation, and everyone had an equal part in the discussion.

After our group session, we came back together to share with the entire group. In my opinion, everyone was on the same page about what it takes to be a leader. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from—anyone can lead. Diversity is encouraged and everyone is included.

After our discussion, Dr. Robinson provided details about the upcoming monthly meetings. We will be traveling across Arkansas, visiting several vital components of the Division. I am looking forward to visiting all the different facilities and getting to meet the people that we never get to see but work with daily. 

Can you believe it? Julie even gave us HOMEWORK. The first task we were asked to complete is a “ME” sheet. This sheet tells everyone in our Cohort who we are and helps us to get to know each other on a deeper level. I really enjoyed creating mine, and I can’t wait to share it with the group.

Our second task was to start thinking about a leadership project. The project will be completed over the next year. It must be a project that is beneficial to our jobs and/or community. This one will take a little more thought. I have several ideas going through my head and hopefully, when the time comes, I am ready to give 100% to the task.   

I am honored for this opportunity, and I can’t thank the Division enough for selecting me to be a part of this program. I know the knowledge I obtain will help strengthen my continued career at the Division of Agriculture and my community involvement.

The iLEAD program enhances interpersonal skills through virtual and in-person sessions, providing participants with knowledge, skills, and opportunities for growth. For more information about the iLEAD program contact Dr. Julie Robinson, or Lisa Davis,