Leadership Lynchburg unveils changes

Community-based training program announces curriculum revisions, endeavours to further local business

Leadership Lynchburg, a community-based leadership training program, unveiled a new set of programs Thursday, April 3, with the hope of reaching a wider range of people.

The announcement was made at a press conference at the Craddock Terry Hotel, with various Leadership Lynchburg alumni and potential newcomers in attendance. The announcement came after a year-long hiatus in which the organization took time to re-evaluate and reshape their curriculum.

“Our director Christine Kennedy reminded us that as business evolves in our community so should our programs,” Molly Cousins, chair of Leadership Lynchburg Council, said. “In the first quarter of 2013, our board, known as the Leadership Council, secured leadership consultant Ted Carroll of Leadership Greater Hartford who’s done some amazing things for that program and that community.”

One of the differences in the new, relaunched Leadership Lynchburg is the introduction of two new programs. The first is One Days, which will bring the Leadership Lynchburg experience into Central Virginia organizations. The second is the Executive Forum, which will launch in the fall of 2015 and provide leadership training and progressive practices to
seasoned leaders.

“Before, it was just one program,” Christine Kennedy, director of Leadership Lynchburg, said. “Our Flagship Program has been in the community since 1977. So last year, when we looked at strategic planning and some focus groups, the key was to find if the program still mattered and if it was still relevant and needed in this community. That was validated.

Secondly, we wanted to look at where else do we need to be providing training.”

According to Kennedy, by offering a more comprehensive list of programs, Leadership Lynchburg has been able to accept more people into leadership and assist companies in their need for succession planning.

“When you have a seasoned leader that’s been in the company for years announce retirement, who is going to fill that spot?” Kennedy said. “And are those individuals that possibly can do it, are they trained and equipped? This program enables that to happen.”

In addition to creating two new programs, Leadership Lynchburg is enhancing its three existing programs — The Flagship Program, The Young Entrepreneurs Academy and Alumni Programming. Cousins described the revival of the program as a milestone for Leadership Lynchburg and said her experience with the program has helped her personal growth.

“What began with an idea in 1975 and launched the first class in 1977 has become a nationally award-winning leadership development program,” Cousins said. “We’ve undergone several transformations since its inception and today marks another.”

Cousins explained how the leadership development program helped her.

“(The program) provided lots of valuable growth opportunities for me, and it really made me pretty aware as a leader in this community that you never stop growing and learning and developing and meeting new people and expanding your horizons,” she said. “That is what this program is about.”

For more information, visit leadershiplynchburg.com.

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