Don’t Follow the Leader—Be One! New Leadership Program Begins Second Year ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   January 01, 2008
Don’t Follow the Leader—Be One!
Author Notes
  • Bob Artz, a leadership consultant who participated in the Leadership Development Program and who is president of Polaris One, can be reached at bob@polarisone.com.
    Bob Artz, a leadership consultant who participated in the Leadership Development Program and who is president of Polaris One, can be reached at bob@polarisone.com.×
  • Maureen Thompson, director of Association governance operations, can be reached at mthompson@asha.org.
    Maureen Thompson, director of Association governance operations, can be reached at mthompson@asha.org.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / ASHA News & Member Stories / International & Global / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   January 01, 2008
Don’t Follow the Leader—Be One!
The ASHA Leader, January 2008, Vol. 13, 26. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.13012008.26
The ASHA Leader, January 2008, Vol. 13, 26. doi:10.1044/leader.AN1.13012008.26
What exactly is a leader? A quick Internet search of the word reveals nearly 2 million definitions! Fortunately, a common thread runs through many of the definitions, a concept described by D. Quinn Mills in Leadership: How to Lead, How to Live: a leader sets the direction for the rest of us; helps us see what lies ahead; helps us visualize what we might achieve; and encourages and inspires us.
Volunteer leadership is the key to success in nonprofit associations such as ASHA. The Association relies on effective leadership to fulfill its mission, yet continues to be challenged by a shortage of members willing to run for elected volunteer positions—a shortage expected to increase as many volunteer leaders from the baby boomer generation begin to retire.
To meet the growing need for new candidates and to ensure an adequate leadership pipeline, ASHA’s Executive Board supported the creation of a Leadership Development Program (LDP), which encourages potential leaders to develop their skills in service to the professions through ASHA. The response was overwhelming—more than 100 members completed the rigorous application process required to compete for one of 20 seats in the 2007 inaugural class.
Program Requirements
Those accepted into LDP were required to:
  • Attend a Leadership Development Institute, which explored core topics such as the traits of highly successful people, barriers to success and prosperity, project management, delegation, and time management

  • Participate in group coaching conference calls addressing leadership skills, achievement drive, team synergy, gaining cooperation, and goal-setting

  • Develop and complete a personal leadership development project, which required participants to organize the efforts of others toward a defined outcome

  • Engage in mentoring activities at the ASHA Convention, including presenting project reports, attending committee meetings, and networking with Association leaders

Through the LDP, participants had the opportunity to meet seasoned ASHA leaders; build a professional network; learn more about ASHA’s programs and leadership opportunities; and develop valuable management skills. In return, the Association and the professions were energized by participants’ ideas and insights. With the overwhelming success of the first class, plans are in full swing for the 2008 program.
Warren Bennis, a pioneer in leadership studies, said, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Do you have a vision to help set the direction for ASHA, envision what lies ahead for the discipline, or inspire others to achieve things they never thought possible? If so, you owe it to yourself, your colleagues, and your profession to translate those visions into reality.
Don’t follow the leader—be one!
Leadership Development Projects

LDP participants each completed a Personal Leadership Development Project. Some examples include:

  • Assembling a multidisciplinary assistive technology team to delineate referral and service delivery procedures for students with identified special needs

  • Designing and conducting a workshop on vestibular assessment in Korea and Thailand as part of Malaysia International Training Program

  • Developing a position description and tutorial for state association student liaisons to define roles and responsibilities, establish appropriate expectations, and aid in recruitment

  • Designing a Web-based resource for the promotion of phonetic science instruction, learning, and research

  • Creating PROS (Promoting Research Opportunities), a targeted campaign to promote the development of future researchers and increase the awareness of fellowship opportunities for audiologists and speech-language pathologists

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January 2008
Volume 13, Issue 1