THUNDER BAY – Business – Leadership Thunder Bay’s class of 2013 shared its experiences with friends and family during a graduation ceremony held at Tony and Adam’s Bistro on Thursday, June 6.
One of the 16 graduates, Brandon Walker, learned some valuable leadership lessons while participating in the program.
Leadership Thunder Bay – Valuable
“The most important lesson I learned is that leadership shouldn’t just come from above,” Walker said. “Through our learning days and group work, I realized it’s important for leaders to emerge from all levels at different times – from the CEO to the supervisors and everyone else in a company and in society.
“There is no right or wrong way to lead. Being vocal about your ideas and beliefs is the first step to leading,” Walker added.
Every Leadership Thunder Bay class begins its journey at an overnight retreat in September that serves as a bonding experience and teaches each student about his or her leadership style. Students are divided into groups that will work on a Community Action Project until graduating in June.
Once a month, the class participates in a learning day at various locations in the area to gain insight into local industry, municipal government, innovation and more.
This is the 10th class to graduate from Leadership Thunder Bay. The 2013 graduates put the total number at 192 since the program started in 2003.
“We’re extremely proud of all of our graduates and alumni,” said Kristen Oliver, Leadership Thunder Bay President. “These individuals are our city’s future mayors, city councillors, CEOs, CAOs, managers and Members of Parliament. They are the people who will make a difference in our community, our country and around the world.”
Leadership Thunder Bay is much more than a typical leadership skills development program. Innovative, engaging and empowering, the program takes participants from all walks of life on a voyage of discovery in which they build their leadership skills while gaining a broader understanding of the critical issues affecting Thunder Bay.
At the end of their voyage, graduates gain increased leadership skills and employee skills as well as a thorough understanding of the community in which they live.
“Most people graduate with a burning desire to be active leaders and play a more prominent role in the positive changes happening in Thunder Bay,” Oliver said.
Employers are attracted to Leadership Thunder Bay because their employees learn skills that enhance their work on the job by giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to community leadership.
“I learned how to lead and how to follow,” Walker said. “I also learned when to lead and when to follow, too.”
Participants receive insight into local issues and challenges while gaining a new network of colleagues who they can network and socialize with.
“Our students also graduate with a greater sense of diversity to the many cultures that are prominent in Thunder Bay,” Oliver said.