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Leadership Training Prepares North Dakotans to Serve

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Leaders across the state know that it can be a challenge to find enough people willing to serve on boards, councils and committees.

North Dakota has an estimated 2,665 governmental bodies and 5,815 nonprofit organizations, public charities and private foundations that need leaders. This means that one out of every 23 residents over age 18 would need to serve in a leadership role.

When asked what holds them back from serving on local boards, councils and committees or running for local offices, many North Dakotans admit they don’t feel prepared.

To help elected, appointed and aspiring leaders develop the skills and confidence to serve their communities, NDSU Extension offers Lead Local, a one-day, interactive program. Participants learn and practice leadership skills such as running efficient meetings, parliamentary procedure, working with different personalities and conflict resolution.

For Morton County commissioner Nathan Boehm, who attended a recent Lead Local program in Mandan, the workshop was a valuable experience well worth his time.

“Lead Local will do justice in training more individuals in leadership roles,” says Boehm.

More than 550 North Dakotans across the state have participated in a Lead Local training. Evaluation data shows that 87% of participants feel more prepared to serve in a leadership role because of their participation in Lead Local. Many commit to taking action in the six months following the program, such as sharing what they’ve learned, improving the way they run meetings or taking on a new leadership role.

Raymond Morrell, another Morton County commissioner who also attended Lead Local, encourages other citizens to take part in the program.

“Through its presentations and instruction, participants garner a renewed assessment of their ability to become engaged within their communities and lead organizations,” says Morrell. “Tomorrow’s leaders will not evolve if today’s citizens do not see their own capabilities.”


NDSU Extension Lead Local Program 

Jodi Bruns, 701-210-0445,

Andrea Bowman, 701-523-6239,