Charting the Course for Our State: Inside the Journey of Leadership Iowa

March 11, 2024 | Miller Products’ Core Strengths Endure

Embarking on a transformational journey of personal and professional growth, Leadership Iowa serves as a beacon of excellence. With its upcoming nominations and application cycle on the horizon (April 1), our collective experiences echo the profound impact this program has had on our lives and the communities we serve.

How did you first learn about Leadership Iowa?
Our discovery of the program differed slightly yet were equally serendipitous. For one of us, a family member sparked curiosity while sharing the program’s networking benefits; as for the other, a colleague’s recommendation piqued their interest. Those who encouraged us had connections to Leadership Iowa and attested to the wide range of eye-opening insights it provided. Little did we know that these conversations would set us up for some of the most invaluable lessons, enduring connections, and boundless opportunities for growth.

What are the other participants like and what happens at the monthly sessions?
The makeup of each class varies to ensure representation of different industries and professions, backgrounds and experiences, as well as different communities and regions of the state. This diversity is one of Leadership Iowa’s most distinguishable strengths because it lends itself to cultivating camaraderie amongst the class and promotes a safe, learning environment. No monthly session is the exact same. Each month we visit new communities focused on one topic. Through facility tours, collaborative group activities, and discussions with industry leaders, we delve into understanding what opportunities and challenges Iowa faces.

How do you make it work with your work and personal-life schedules?
We’ll be the first ones to tell you that Leadership Iowa is a time commitment, and finding a balance between the flurry of work e-mails and personal obligations can prove challenging in the beginning. Nonetheless, that shouldn’t discourage you! As participants progress through the program, they’ll gradually recognize Leadership Iowa as a cornerstone to their professional development and how it personally enables them to turn around and apply what they’ve learned by shaping the direction of communities and people around them.

While we disagree on which class is “the best class ever,” we wholeheartedly agree that Leadership Iowa truly is our state’s premier-issues awareness program. If you’re reading this and considering Leadership Iowa, then you absolutely should! We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to share our experiences, and we leave you with the following advice: (1) Approach this program with an open mind, willingness to consider new ideas and perspectives, and understand that you may be challenged at times; (2) Take full advantage of access to speakers and their expertise – both during and after each session; (3) Whether it’s a session topic or personal conversation, stay involved with your classmates in-between sessions and continue the dialogue where it left off.