In December 1998, the Wyoming Heritage Foundation led a group of Wyoming leaders to a meeting in Colorado to learn first hand about 50 for Colorado, Colorado’s state leadership program. They believed that Wyoming needed a state leadership program. Recognizing this shared vision for a Wyoming program, Eli Bebout—then Speaker of the House and Chairman of the Wyoming Business Alliance and Wyoming Heritage Foundation—and Philip Dubois—President of the University of Wyoming— reaffirmed their previous commitments for a Wyoming program by paving the way for a unique partnership which created Leadership Wyoming in May of 1999. Over the next year, an extremely dedicated and hard working Organizing Committee established the guiding principles and organizational structure for the program.
OBJECTIVES Progress depends on committed leaders who understand public policy issues, economic and social diversity, and the challenges facing Wyoming and the nation. Leadership Wyoming:
· Brings together leaders from across Wyoming with diverse interests and backgrounds; · Serves as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue; · Provides current, practical, non-partisan understanding of a broad spectrum of public policy issues; · Involves cutting edge speakers; · Further develops leadership capabilities; · Builds a more broadly based source of talented leaders; · Creates relationships, trust, partnerships and networks; and · Develops an appreciation for trusteeship, with lasting commitments to state and local civic involvement.
PROGRAM Leadership Wyoming is a program for a diverse group of approximately 45 Wyoming leaders, ages from about 30 to over 70, to participate in a challenging, interactive and thought-provoking 9-month educational program that consists of a 1 day Orientation, 2 day Retreat, five 2 day Program Sessions, and 1 day Graduation program.
The program pulls together people who are not normally linked with one another to form lifelong networking opportunities based on trust and a shared experience. It’s a program which builds leadership capabilities— both skills and processes.
The Leadership Wyoming program consists of eight sessions (16 days/180 hours) scheduled at different Wyoming locations.
Formats vary, attempting to incorporate a balanced amount of time for structured presentations, group activity and/or discussion and community tours/events. Interactive seminars feature guest speakers, on-site visits, group discussions, debate, simulations, team building, collaboration, and case studies.
Participants constantly are challenged to ask the what, who, and why questions. Leadership Wyoming focuses on leadership at several different levels: leaders and followers in the pursuit of a common goal; the skills that are needed to bring people together; and the characteristics of effective leaders.
At Graduation,participants complete a personal action plan and present independent class study project findings before an audience of invited leadership program graduates and state and local leaders, including the Wyoming Congressional Delegation and the Governor.
During the nine-month program (August to May), participants are challenged and involved in Leadership Skill Development, State Issue Awareness and Independent Class Study Projects.