In the past, leadership was a skill far too many people felt was designated solely for the business owners, entrepreneurs and management of the corporate world. However, many Iowa business owners similar to Spindustry Training, are beginning to recognize the value leadership can have when cultivated within staff. Leadership Iowa, a program designated to promote leadership, which began in 1982, has gained momentum over the years and grown into a prestigious academy which educates, challenges and inspires Iowa’s current and emerging leaders.
Tara Walter, Director of Training Solutions at Spindustry Training, was one of forty recent graduates of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s Leadership Iowa Program this past June. Tara admits that initially, the first Wednesday, Thursday and Friday obligation of every month seemed like a daunting time commitment, but quickly realized the immense benefits of Leadership Iowa after her first meeting.
Along with her forty classmates, Tara attended private business facility tours, networked with classmates and community leaders and listened to influential keynote speakers. These experiences, Tara realized, were similar to those at Spindustry Training. “I had driven past many of the businesses we toured, but I never knew the amazing things which were going on inside of these facilities. No book about leadership can substitute the live experiences I was fortunate enough to partake in,” said Tara. “Our courses at Spindustry Training are also taught live because we understand how valuable a live learning experience is for a student to grasp technical concepts from live speakers.”
As a Hawkeye fan, one of Tara’s favorite outings was the tour of Kinnick Stadium. Tara also enjoyed the tour of the Atlantic Bottling Company in Atlantic, Iowa and the tour of HON Company, the second-largest office furniture manufacturer in North America located in Muscatine, Iowa. “I never understood how complex and sophisticated some of the equipment and processes were until we toured these facilities.”
Along with the many irreplaceable experiences while a student of Leadership Iowa, Tara also established lifetime relationships with classmates. “We are more like a family than friends, and now that we have graduated, our family has grown!”
For those who are interested in experiencing Leadership Iowa for yourself, Tara recommends asking questions, making connections, thanking the people who took time out of the day to expand your knowledge and simply just taking advantage of every opportunity the program presents you with.
To begin your live leadership experience, visit the Leadership Iowa website.