At the core of every inspirational story is one consistent thing: Inspired people.
Sure, there are always similar factors like challenges, motivations and outcomes, but people are the main ingredient when it comes to inspiration. People drive achievement and accomplishment, because they take a challenge and transform it to a success. They navigate relationships, address conflict, unite teams, and welcome solutions. We, in turn, get inspiration when we hear their story, and we see a little of ourselves in these people.
At the same time, people can also be the biggest obstacle for progress. The only difference as to whether people drive achievement or are an obstacle is the philosophy and willingness to be a leader to achieve a common goal. The most remarkable leaders learn their philosophy and employ their skill set over many years, and they have the humility to know they can always benefit from greater knowledge.
The National Conservation Foundation recognizes this need in the realm of conservation district work and stands proudly behind its new program, the Next Generation Leadership Institute (NGLI), focused on developing these local leaders. With a carefully crafted curriculum, the program will equip conservation district leaders to become national leaders of tomorrow through personal, civic and organizational leadership development in order to meet the future needs of natural resources management.
Why now? We are wise to recognize that conservation district work is entering a new era. Changes in our landscape are growing more complex and shifting populations mean new challenges, which will require additional skills and greater capacity. By equipping leaders of tomorrow, the Next Generation Leadership Institute is preparing them to rise to meet complex current and future conservation challenges.
The program was professionally designed and includes strategic core elements:
- Competitive application, open to individuals across each of the seven NACD regions
- Five in-person sessions located across the United States, spanning a total of 15 days of instruction over 13 months
- Leadership curriculum specifically crafted for conservation district work
- Affordable tuition for an exceptional value for selected participants
- All travel expenses and instruction materials are covered with tuition and support of NCF
First presented in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the NACD Summer Conservation Forum and Tour, the 2020 NGLI program has gained substantial interest and support in the months since program work began. Currently in the selection process, the 2020 cohort will be announced in January. Additional information will be provided about the 2021 program, which is expected to open for applications in June 2021.
NCF envisions that the long-term outcome of the NGLI program will be even stronger conservation district leaders, driven to take challenges and transform them into success for their conservation districts back home and beyond.