Being Equipped to Lead
Lorain County, Ohio, is blessed to be home to two renowned post-secondary institutions. Their Presidents recently participate in a local panel discussion on the topic of Women in Leadership. Both Dr. Marcia Ballinger and Dr. Carmen Twillie Amber shared their institutions’ passion for developing leadership capacity in their students. Dr. Ballinger of Lorain County Community College indicated that “LCCC grows leaders”. Due to its culture, relationships, community-focused purpose, passion, and role modeling the organization is regularly acknowledged as one of the best places to work in Northeast Ohio. And it has recently been named the number one community college in the country for student success. LCCC was the first community college established in Ohio and has just recently become the first community college in Ohio authorized to offer a bachelor’s degree. Dr. Ballinger said that the college’s philosophy includes staying on the cutting edge by preparing students for future jobs that aren’t even imagined yet, by encouraging students to become the driver of their own success, and by preparing students to change their community for the better. Dr. Twillie Amber of Oberlin College shared that they “ensure every Oberlin student leaves believing that what they want to achieve is possible”. They are equipped to change the world for good. Oberlin College has role modeled change for nearly two centuries. In 1835 they were the first college to admit an African American to a bachelor’s degree program. In 1865 they graduated the first African American woman to obtain a bachelor’s degree. For the past decade partnership with the local school district has included college students tutoring young students in the community. This has resulted in a significant increase in the educational success of local young people. This liberal arts college continues to be innovative, offering above-the-norm opportunities for individuals to reach their potential. Both Presidents shared that an important aspect of their success in educational leadership and family life is due to making conscious choices about when their work comes first and when their family comes first. They communicate their needs for family time with their college colleagues, ensure all workplace needs are covered by a team member, and often finished their personal business responsibilities ‘after hours’ when their children were in bed. These accomplished female Presidents of high reputation colleges have risen to the top in their careers because they thought ahead about what they wanted to achieve, and they disciplined themselves to get the education and work experience that would prepare them for professional success. They encouraged their audience to be intentional about their lives to fulfill their purpose and passion. If you aren’t currently achieving your goals, consider participating in a Personal Leadership Effectiveness™ program to strengthen the skills and personal discipline that will equip you to live a successful and satisfying life.