What’s one way to determine if you’re an effective leader? Look over your shoulder and see if anyone is following!

The Alabama Section hosted a pilot Leadership Development Program at the Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talledega, Alabama. Utilizing matching grant money awarded by the SDITE Leadership Oversight Team, the program was presented at two separate sessions (June 25-26, 2010 and August 27-28, 2010). ALSITE’s overall goal was to motivate the participants to improve their leadership effectiveness and to have them make a commitment to “give back” to our profession. ITE members from the Associated Businesses Division, academia, private and public sectors participated in the training. Guest instructors at the event included Richard Atkins, John Edwards, Bill Seymour, Darrell Skipper, Dan Turner and Becky White.

Over the two weekend sessions important topics such as “Having a Positive Influence”, “Conducting Effective Meetings”, “Mentoring Employees”, and “Developing Vision and Action Plans” created an environment of self reflection, learning, and interaction among participants and instructors. Participants enjoyed classroom time together, shared meals together, and after dinner on Friday took some time to socialize, share a few laughs, and build better relationships with classmates and instructors.

As part of the evaluation process at the end of the program, each participant was asked to share their thoughts regarding what they might tell others in reference to their experiences at the ALSITE Pilot Leadership Program. Listed below are some of the comments received:

“It is an eye-opening program that can be a very strong help to you as you endeavor to be a more effective person – not just a leader. A great opportunity to grow as a leader, as an employee, as a citizen, and as a person. It was very much worthwhile and I highly recommend you take part in the program.”

“This program provides tremendous value for participants. The material is excellent, the cost is low, and the time spent yields benefits in increased knowledge and stronger relationships. If you or your staff needs leadership training, you’d be stupid to pass on this program.”

“It was a very productive program and I learned a lot of practical-every day actions. It built on my self-confidence and inspired me to take a leadership role.”

“The biggest benefit I received from the ITE Leadership Training was the opportunity to network with others. I enjoyed the interaction with leaders in our profession as they shared their experiences. I hope to apply many of the tips and lessons learned to situations in my career. I definitely recommend the training to transportation professionals at all levels!”

“The process of self assessment was eye opening to me as a person and a professional and I look forward to having others evaluation so that I may focus on areas that need improvement. This is very useful concept and makes it easier to develop a personal game plan devoted to the areas needing emphasis.”

“If we’ll take these principles of the Leadership Program and put them into practice, it has the power to do more than make us stronger leaders; it will also help you become a stronger person, a better human being. More importantly, it can make you a more caring father or mother, a more loving husband or wife, and yes…even a more humble servant to those around you. Taking part in a program like this will change your life and the way you look at it. It puts you on a path to improving yourself, your family, your job, and every aspect of your life, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual.”

After a very successful pilot program, ALSITE is committed to continuing and further developing the Leadership Program. Other plans being discussed include the possibility of participating graduates showcasing the program as a service project to other venues/agencies and preparing for additional ALSITE Leadership Development Programs/

Now I ask you, are you an effective leader? Look over your shoulder, is anyone there?