Leadership is as much about following as it is leading. The final day of Seminar three focused on this leadership competency area.  After a quick warm-up by Olga (Exec. Dir) and Christy (see “Simon Says” photo), Program Leader Christy Kallevig introduced MARL class XI to Leading through Engaged Followership. MARL class members joined breakout rooms to think of examples of situations when leading and following occur simultaneously. Later class members shared how they saw leaders and followers present in a previous activity on day two of the seminar.

Christy shared Robert Kelly’s research on the types of followers (see diagram below).  She followed this with the four basic needs that followers have from their leaders: trust, compassion, stability, and hope. The class embraced the concept of followership and will likely continue to reflect on it throughout MARL and in their leadership development.

The followership workshop was followed by some time spent in Peer Learning Circles. Program Leader Toby Spanier introduced Leadership Action Plans. These online action plans will be used throughout the remaining time in MARL. The action plans contain sections on:

  • Practice and Application
  • Personal Goal
  • Personal Philosophy for Leadership
  • Goals for the Journey Beyond

Following some time with Peer Learning Circles and sharing of action plan items, class members were introduced to Seminar Management Teams (SMTs). Toby Spanier shared with the class that the SMTs are a geographic collection of MARL class members who work and lead collaboratively together to ensure…

  • MARL seminars are professional, effective, efficient, impactful, and fun.
  • Meaningful connections are built in all the regions of the state.
  • The region’s agricultural and rural communities’ interests and concerns are heard.

SMTs were then given time together to review and plan for seminar four which will be a hybrid seminar combine online learning and face-to-face experiences in SMTs by regions. MARL class members appeared to be excited about the possibility to experience part of a MARL seminar in person in March.

Finally, Class XI ended seminar three with their golden nuggets, such as “thoughtfulness, connections, incremental progress, followership, trust, authenticity, pause, words to choose/loose!

Submitted by Toby Spanier, Program Leader


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