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Vision 2040 Leadership

Vision 2040 Leadership is a nine month cohort leadership program.  From September through March participants gather on the first Thursday in communities around the Willmar Lakes Area to participate in an interactive leadership development session.  The session presents education based on University of Minnesota Extension's research based leadership and civic engagement curriculums.  Participants work in coaching groups to discuss the materials and practice skills in a supportive environment to prepare them for serving their communities.  The cost of the program is $750 and scholarships are available to assist people in participating.  

Apply by August 9, 2017 to be part of the Vision 2040 Leadership Class of 2018!


2017-2018 Sessions - Locations will be announced in August, 2017

September | My Leadership Journey | Kandiyohi County Historical Society, Willmar

This session will explore the concepts of leadership versus management.  The session will also discuss the value of followership and how followers can be influential in leadership.  This session focuses on learning about yourself and your fellow participants.


October | Building and Sustaining Teams | MidCentral Research and Outreach Center, MinnWest Technology Campus

As we work in teams it is important to understand how teams come together as well as how to sustain them and keep them motivated and moving forward.  A key piece of understanding how teams work is knowing and understanding the strengths that each member offers to the team.  This session will utilize the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment to allow participants to learn about their strengths and understand how they contribute to success in their work.


November | Facilitating to Lead  | Atwater

Leader are called upon to facilitate or create action within their communities.  This session will explore a variety of meeting facilitation tools and techniques to help participants lead effective groups and move towards action in their work.


December | Leading with Cultural Intelligence | Barn Theater, Willmar

Our communities are becoming increasingly diverse.  It is important that leaders understand the challenges and the opportunities that exist in working in diverse communities.  This session includes the opportunity to explore downtown Willmar and hear the voices of new community members.


January | Leading with Emotional Intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is an emerging area of interest in leadership.  Emotional intelligence impacts how we interact with others, approach our work, and handle struggles and change.  By understanding how our emotional intelligence plays into our decisions and leadership will allow us to improve the way we communicate with others and give feedback through our work.  Participants will complete the BarOn EQ-i assessment and analyze their results during this session.


February | Conflict and Communication 

It is impossible to avoid conflict but we can learn to handle it in a healthy and appropriate way that encourages the advancement of our work and builds stronger relationships.  The key to this is to communicate with others and work to build consensus and understanding.  This session will utilize the TKI Conflict Inventory.


March | Navigating Change | Sunburg Community Center, Sunburg

Change can be hard for people and communities.  Unfortunately it can't be avoided.  This session will explore how to handle change, look for ways to include innovation, and understanding risk.  We will also explore the power of persuasion and influence within communities and how this impacts change.


April | Stepping into Leadership 

Rural communities are facing a leadership gap as baby boomers begin to retire from the civic leadership positions.  Despite changes in population there continues to be an increase in non-profit organizations which requires more people to step forward to lead.  This session will feature Extension Research Fellow, Ben Winchester, as he discusses the need for more community leaders.  It will also be host to the 1st Annual Leadership Fair that will provide the opportunity for current participants and alumni to meet non-profit organizations and find ways to use their leadership skills.


May | Celebrating the Journey 

Leaders need a vision and a vision needs an action plan.  This session will focus on helping participants identify their vision for the Willmar Lakes Area and discuss the value of a clear action plan to help you reach your goals.  Graduation will occur after the class in an evening ceremony.


Application for Vision 2040 Leadership


Brochure for Vision 2040 Leadership



From our community volunteers

I am excited to make a difference and feel confident to do so!

Alumni, Inaugural Class of 2015

I made connections with community members and found many common visions.  I have begun to get more active in the community due to the connections.

Alumni, Class of 2016
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