Quality Offerings + Strategic Adaptability = Program Longevity

Leadership programs begin today with new director

By Rick Henry

As the new Director of Leadership Programs here at Leadership Montgomery, I could not be more excited to launch the latest iterations of our flagship leadership programs.

It all starts today,  Friday, Sept. 17, when our eighth Emerging Leaders (EL) cohort gathers for their opening session, followed in quick succession by the 32nd cohort of our CORE (Connecting Our Region’s Execs) program (Sept. 23 and 24) and the 19th entry of our Senior Leadership Montgomery (SLM) program (Sept. 29.)

Such program longevity is a testament to the quality of our offerings. They have endured across administrations, through economic peaks and valleys and, most recently, through a Pandemic. I believe this is because the core elements of networking, community involvement and personal development never go out of style.

However, to sustain such longevity, programs must also adapt, upgrade and change to meet new interests and demands. It is in that spirit that I approach our 2021-22 programs.

Starting any new position is challenging. Starting a position with an organization as established and well-regarded as Leadership Montgomery is even more daunting. Simply put, you don’t want to mess too much with a good thing!

My goal is to build on the strong legacy of the existing programs in a way that creates additional engagement, enhanced personal and professional development and broader community and organizational impact, while not diminishing the key elements that have defined the programs for so long.

Doing so can be accomplished by placing additional emphasis on self-directed and peer learning and providing program content that is most relevant to each cohort.

While all programs will still contain such key components as site visits, networking opportunities and insight into Montgomery County issues, each program will now have its own unique and clearly defined focus area and requirements:

  • For CORE, the focus will be on networking with county and state business, government and nonprofit leaders, expanding individual and organizational visibility and outreach and exploring the policy implications of important multi-sector trends and developments. CORE program participants will also engage in extensive peer learning, tapping the collective insights of other participants to address the complex organizational issues faced by themselves and their organizations.
  • Emerging Leaders will focus on professional development, career advancement, network building and gaining awareness of the complex, multi-sector entity that is Montgomery County. Beyond an enhanced array of leadership skills development offerings, other elements will include mentoring and a community service project.
  • The Senior Leadership Montgomery will allow participants to explore life and career transitions, volunteer and Board opportunities, in addition to an expanded portfolio of leadership skills and personal development sessions.

I believe these changes can be the catalyst for LM’s leadership programs to have an even greater impact on program participants, their organizations, and, ultimately, Montgomery County as a whole.

I can’t wait to get started.

Rick Henry is the Director of Leadership Programs at Leadership Montgomery and can be reached at 301.881.3333 or rick.henry@leadermont.org