Lessons from the Leadership Institute

Lessons from the Leadership Institute

16:18 18 February in KC IABC Blog, Leadership, Leadership Institute

Earlier this month, four KC IABC board members attended the annual Leadership Institute, a conference organized by the IABC to foster connections and support leaders. We asked them to share their thoughts on the event.


Putting The I in IABC

Marjie: Attending LI emphasized to me that the “I” within IABC truly stands for international. There were so many leaders not only from across the U.S. but around the world, including South Africa and Canada. It’s always enlightening to learn new communications concepts and ideas from others who have different backgrounds and perspectives.

Stacey: From the region our chapter is a part of (Southern) to our worldwide community of communicators (yes, worldwide – I met communicators from Canada, Barbados and New Zealand), I’m awed by the friendliness and openness shared across the membership. I know I can call on anyone in the organization as a resource, regardless of if I’ve met them or not, and they will assist.

KC IABC President Stacey Dickson sharing her group’s feedback during one of the breakout sessions.

Building our chapter

Bridget: When it comes to leadership, don’t be a martyr! Get others involved and have fun. My personality lends itself to taking on more than is necessary. Although I see value in delegating, I have yet to perfect it. Not only can involving volunteers make my life easier, it can also help with recruiting and retaining members – a major chapter goal.

Tara: I loved the advice on how to say thank you, because it goes beyond those two words or a quick “thanks!” at the bottom of your email. Be sure to be specific about what you appreciate and the results that it has, because it shows that you really do notice what others are doing. I appreciate the energy of our members and volunteers so much, so this advice is going to get lots of use!

Bridget: When reaching out to sponsors, it is easy to offer the same benefits to everyone. For example, being named during a presentation, being included in conference materials, etc. LI helped me realize that sponsors are not identical twins, and therefore neither are their needs. Are they a start up company in your city? Why not provide communications advice or support? Do they offer a communications product? Seems like a good opportunity to provide a focus group to give insight from their target market – communicators!

Stacey: Attending the Chapter Management Awards (CMA) is always exciting. I love the anticipation as we wait for them to announce KC IABC as a winner!

The CMAs are a great opportunity to showcase the excellent work our chapter is doing. By entering, we must set goals and measure against them each year for each area of focus.

This year we won two CMAs; an award of Excellence for Student Involvement and an award of Merit for Leadership Development. Read more about the 2018 CMAs. By the way, we’re a seven-time winner of International Chapter of the Year, the most of any chapter worldwide!

From L to R: Tara Saylor, Marjie Goodman and Bridget McBee celebrating the KC IABC Chapter win for Excellence in Student Involvement.

Getting a professional boost

Stacey: The leadership lessons shared in our opening keynote by Cynthia D’Amour apply to my role on the KC IABC board as well as my role as a marketing communications professional. Likewise, the breakout session on data are also relevant to my lead generation efforts in my day job.

Tara: One of the themes at LI was that you don’t have to do things the same way that you’ve always done them in the past. That was a great reminder to pause and think about project goals at work before automatically diving in.

Closing thoughts

Stacey: I’ve attended a few LI conferences. Each time I learn something new, make new friends and am reenergized about serving on the KC IABC Board.

Marjie: This was my first year attending IABC’s Leadership Institute, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I traveled with an open mind, ready to learn and meet new people.

The first day, I surprisingly bonded deeply with a few women from our morning leadership keynote led by Cynthia D’Amour, MBA. We even created our own dinner group to continue the conversation and see more of sunny San Diego in early February. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to grow as a communicator and leader due to this trip.

Bridget: Leaving icy Kansas City for sunny San Diego meant I could pull out my summer clothes that have been longing for my attention, while leaving my overused coat behind. That was all good and well until the sun went down and the wind continued to blow. Listen to your mother. Pack a coat.

From L to R: Bridget McBee, Tara Saylor, Marjie Goodman, Stacey Dickson breathing in some ocean air on the beach in San Diego.


Marjie Goodman

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