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Celebrating 40 Years of Connecting Community Leaders – Leadership for Five Seasons

June 9, 2022 | Economic Development & Workforce

Leadership For Five Seasons

Nearly 1,400 business professionals have passed through the Leadership for Five Seasons program gaining life long skills that benefits them personally and professionally. The emerging leaders of the 2023 class were introduced at the beginning of June, representing the 40th class and marking the 5th decade of Leadership for Five Seasons.

The very first class of Leadership for Five Seasons was announced in 1983, featuring 35 individuals selected from businesses across the community. To honor this year’s incredible milestone, 40 individuals were selected for the 40th class rather than the traditional 35. The ten-month program runs August through May, and empowers participants with a comprehensive understanding of the community’s challenges and opportunities. Following a two-day leadership retreat, participants attend nine full-day monthly leadership days to learn about areas of economic opportunity and quality of life, hear about challenges facing the community and connect with community leaders. The group will wrap up their year with a class project to fulfill a need in the community.

The impact and memories this leadership program has on their graduates carries throughout the decades. The connections made, ability to challenge their mindset, and enhancing their unique strengths are just a few things our alumni remember about their experiences. As we walk down memory lane, alumni share their greatest takeaways:

“Understanding leadership is not something people are born with, but is learned through experience, education, and practice. There are a variety of personal attributes a leader must have in order to be successful such as: persistence, self-knowledge, willingness to take risks and accept losses, commitment, consistency, ability to challenge oneself and others, listening, learning and being future-oriented.” Lee Clancey, Coordinator/Director/Founder of LFS and Original Class Alum of 1983

“My greatest takeaway from my class experience is the connections to like-minded, servant-leaders and the opportunity I had to continue to be involved through leadership facilitation with Leadership for Five Seasons.“ ~Nate Klein, Mount Mercy University Class of 2017

“At a professional level, the biggest win was building a network of contacts in the community. I met people from all types of businesses and organizations who I could reach out to for advice, guidance, referrals, etc. That came in handy when I had the opportunity to create Rockwell Collins’ charitable grant process, volunteer program and other community partnerships.” ~Cindy Dietz, Collins Aerospace, Class of 2000

“I’m confident Leadership for Five Seasons positioned my mind-set to advance from an energetic (physically active) volunteer, to be able to serve in a board position. I always knew I wanted to be a part of the solutions or growth of an organization, and Leadership for Five Seasons helped prepare me for that level of volunteerism. The other takeaway professionally and personally was learning to be in check with my emotional intelligence. The program provides amazing opportunities to see, touch, feel various entities in our community. But the educational component, which at that time was The Leadership Challenge, is where I grew within. I was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, grow where I needed to, and position myself to work effectively, knowing myself and being accepting of others. That was a big game changer for me and why I give so much recognition to Leadership for Five Seasons.“ ~Jody Donaldson, Kirkwood Community College, Class of 2011

Celebrating 40 Years of Connecting Community Leaders

Leadership for Five Seasons is a premier community leadership program that focuses on developing top talent through a formal leadership curriculum. Leadership for Five Seasons provides participants with community knowledge, connections and inspiration to make a positive impact on the community. Participants are selected from area businesses, public and private agencies, civic and other organizations. Leadership for Five Seasons values diversity and inclusion, and highly encourages individuals representing diverse cultural, racial, religious, social, economic and industry sectors (e.g. business, government, non-profit and academia) to apply.

We are so excited for this incoming class of leaders from around our community. As we celebrate this monumental year, look for more stories about past alumni, Leadership for Five Seasons class projects and reflections, and more. Click here to meet the incoming 40th Leadership for Five Seasons class of 2023.