Finding enough people willing to serve on the boards of governmental units and nonprofit organizations can be a challenge.
North Dakota has 2,665 governmental bodies and 5,815 nonprofit organizations, public charities and private foundations that need leaders. This means that one of every 23 residents over age 18 would need to serve in a leadership role.
To help aspiring, elected and appointed leaders develop the skills and confidence to serve on a board, council or committee, NDSU Extension developed Lead Local. It’s a one-day program that teaches participants about the components of an effective meeting, ethics, parliamentary procedure, understanding different personality styles and how they can work together, and conflict resolution.
Stacey Lilja decided to sign up for Lead Local after being elected to the Tower City (N.D.) City Council in 2018.
“I thought it would benefit me since I am in my first term as an elected official and have served on other boards and committees,” she says.
“The most important things I learned were how to run an efficient meeting and the personality assessment,” she adds. “The understanding of how to communicate with different personalities will help me collaborate with others more effectively.”
One of her goals is to help Tower City’s City Council meetings run more efficiently, and she has shared some ideas she gained through Lead Local with the mayor.
“He is supportive and wants to help make some changes to how the council meetings are conducted,” Lilja says.
She is one of nearly 400 people who have participated in Lead Local sessions at 24 locations throughout North Dakota. Agriculture-related groups sponsored three of the sessions, which were attended by 62 people.
“I strongly recommend Lead Local because living in North Dakota, there is a good chance you will be asked to serve on a board or committee,” she says. “The course gives you the tools to be confident in saying yes and serving successfully.”
For more information: Lynette Flage, 701-231-7782, firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ag.ndsu.edu/lead/leadership-development-program/lead-local