Published in July 2011 on MTCounties.org
Phillips County Commissioner Lesley Robinson was one of a select group of 21 leaders in county government from acrossthe U.S. to participate in the 8th Annual County Leadership Institute (CLI), a rigorousprogram developed by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the Cambridge Leadership Associates.
The 3 ½ day Institute, held June 5-9 inWashington, D.C., challenged the county officials to consider innovative approaches to address key issues facing their home county and residents.
Participants worked with the faculty as a group to develop a sense of direction and vision; a mechanism for innovation and creativity; a resource for invigorating organizational culture; and increased risk taking, improved decision making, team building and effective communication.
“These sessions were unlike any I have ever experienced,” Robinson said. “The Institute provided a unique opportunity to learn from the experience and insights of experts in leadership development and to work with my colleagues from across the country on
specific approaches to address the challenges that all counties share.”
CLI curriculum was developed in 2004 by Marty Linsky, co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates and faculty at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in collaboration with Dr. Ellen Schall, Dean, Robert F. Wagner School of public policy at the New York University specifically for NACo. Jeffrey Lawrence of Cambridge Leadership Associates delivered this year’s program.
“The county officials who participate in the institute get information, ideas, and perspectives they can’t get anywhere else,” said Larry E. Naake, executive director of NACo. “These county leaders not only discussed the core principles of public service leadership with faculty, they also collaborated intensively with each other to develop new ways to attack real-life issues of importance to the residents of their counties.”