Scaling the elusive [Leadership] Summit


Registration has officially opened for the October 2 Mines Leadership Summit, a one-day event that will host 2 internationally recognized keynotes, 15 breakout sessions, and three scholarship opportunities for attending students.

First announced in June, this year’s Summit will focus on four core competencies: vision, planning, communication, and team building. “These core competencies … will help sculpt this Leadership Summit into a unique and beneficial experience,” said Alec Westerman, President of the Associated Students of Colorado School of Mines.

“I believe that the four core competencies … will act as a springboard for the following years as the program evolves to develop student leaders on campus,” added recent graduate Joshua Lau.

Participants will first hear from Craig Valentine, the 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International and a Distinguished Alumnus from John Hopkins University. Mr. Valentine will lead a session on utilizing vision to inspire organizations toward exceptional results.

“One can have excellent vision,” said Lau, “but if he or she cannot communicate that vision to others, the effectiveness and the vision will ultimately falter and have a high chance of failure.”

Later in the morning, attendees will engage in a plenary dialogue with Mr. Robert Waterman, co-author of the internationally acclaimed leadership study In Search of Excellence, and Distinguished Alumnus of Colorado School of Mines. “The old school philosophy was that leaders, the people in charge, were the smart ones, the ones who told people down the line what to do,” said Waterman. Instead, today’s leaders must learn to “give up ‘control’ in the old sense [and] get control over what matters … results,” he added. “You invest heavily in education, pay based on skill rather than seniority, [and] try to erase the distinction between workers and managers.”

These experiences and case studies are essential to the shared learning experience of the Summit. “What you get from the Summit is your own introduction to some of the concepts that others think are important,” explained Waterman. “You get a chance to learn a few of those concepts, weigh them against your own experience, [and] use them as a basis for further learning and study.”

Breakout sessions have been spaced through the morning and afternoon, where participants can select from 15 speakers and topics. Ranging from fundamental knowledge to advanced application, these breakout sessions have been designed to engage every level of leader.

“It is my hope that through their experience in this Summit, Mines students will be primed to look for and embrace leadership opportunities at all stages in their careers,” said Mines President M.W. “Bill” Scoggins. “Developing these skills is truly a lifelong process, and I hope students walk away from the Summit with a sense that they are just beginning a long journey of building these skills.”

Toward the end of the day, a drawing will be held for three $500 student scholarships, to be used for personal and professional development in leadership. Further details on scholarships, speakers and sessions can be found online at The 2010 Summit is sponsored by The Williams Companies, Inc., MWH Global, Talisman Energy, and BP.

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