Gaining New Perspective Through Leadership Baltimore County

by Seth Cheney, CTI, Senior Project Manager and Environmental ScientistCheney-Seth

A few years ago I had the opportunity to participate in Leadership Baltimore County (LBC), a community, networking and leadership program. KCI has been long-time supporters of LBC and similar organizations throughout the country. The firm sends employees through the programs not only to enhance their leadership skills, but to widen their professional networks, broaden their perspectives, and help them contribute more to the communities in which they work and live.

The program’s stated goal is making Baltimore County a better place to live and work by preparing people to serve in leadership positions in the community, for non-profit organizations and on government commissions or boards. I found the program to be a very rewarding and eye opening experience and would recommend the yearly program to anyone interested in learning more about the Baltimore area and non-profit and charitable organizations that serve Baltimore communities.

My LBC program consisted of an opening overnight retreat and monthly day-long interactive seminars focused on important topics impacting the region, including economic development, public safety, social services, education, county and state government, and health services. Seminars were combined with planned tours and events held at schools, hospitals, shelters, community organizations, and government facilities. Other optional events included volunteer opportunities at local shelters and care facilities, prominent speakers, tours of cultural facilities, shadowing of a school principal, police ride-alongs, and networking happy hours and parties.

Among the most interesting interactions were discussions held within our LBC class after an event or seminar. My classmates came from diverse backgrounds and careers—education, social work, health care, non-profit and charity, business, police, religious institutions, community organization—and with that diversity came a breadth of perspective that was fascinating and sometimes completely different than my own experience and point of view. I have maintained friendships with several of my LBC classmates that have led to business and philanthropic opportunities.

LBC events provided a broad exposure to how Baltimore County operates, what some of the biggest challenges facing the area are, and direct interaction with influential local leaders. I saw firsthand some of the imposing challenges people and communities face in the Baltimore area and was touched by the incredible commitment many local leaders, LBC personnel and my classmates had to help people, meet organizational goals and set policy. I gained valuable insight into the leadership perspectives and tactics these individuals employed to deal with the challenges their organizations were focused on.