OSCEOLA COUNTY — Every community needs good leadership.

Although every generation has its ‘natural’ leaders, strong leadership generally doesn’t just happen — it is developed.

Leadership is a process.

Leadership can be learned.

A group of community organizers in Osceola County are hoping to develop a program in which present and future leaders can be identified, encouraged, and put to effective use in their home communities.

The Osceola Leadership Summit is being planned as a nine-session series of ‘seminars’, with session being held over a nine-month period.

Organizers hope to “sharpen our community in the areas of self, team, and community leadership.”

For some years, Mecosta County has hosted a leadership program that has, by all accounts, been wildly successful.

Osceola organizers felt it was high time this county promoted such a program as well.

“This is a great idea,” said Suzie Williams, director of Reed City’s Chamber of Commerce. “I think it a great ‘tool’ for people in this area — both in developing leadership and in helping established community leaders get a better idea of just how things really work.”

Williams herself is a “graduate” of the Mecosta County program.

“I felt this was a very important program that can really be used in sharpening the leadership skills we need in this county,” she continued.

“This program isn’t just for upcoming leaders — although it is important to be actively developing the leaders of the future today. It is also so very important to help existing community leaders get a better handle on things — to better know how the county really ticks.

“The more folks know, the better off they will be when making decisions that affect the community.

“This program is also simply a great way to network — to help build better, stronger connections around the community.

“We are encouraging our Chamber members to get involved in this program.”

The program is also being sponsored by the Evart Local Development Finance Authority.

Program facilitator, Al Weinberg, of Frontline Specialists, is looking forward to strong participation in Osceola County. Weinberg will also be facilitating the Mecosta program this year,

“This is a much needed program in any community,” he said.

“I would hope that we can get participation county wide. The Osceola Leadership Summit is just that — a leadership summit for all of Osceola County, not one community or the other.”

During the nine sessions, (which will be held from August, 2011, through May, 2012), participants will take part in a hands-on program with clearly defined goals:

n To connect participants to their community’s human, natural, intellectual and commercial resources.

n To develop self leadership abilities.

n To develop team leadership abilities, and ...

n To be an active part of the continuous improvement of Osceola County by developing an awareness of the community’s strengths and needs.

Sessions will be held at different locations around Osceola County from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. over the nine-month period.

Topics on the packed schedule include discussing and learning about community topics such as the EMS, the Social Services organization, local government, health care in Osceola County, business and commerce, and a variety of team building programs.

“This program is geared toward adults in Osceola County who are, or may be in leadership roles in our community,” said Weinberg.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean someone in elected office. It could also very well be people who are leaders through their roles in the business community or in other positions in life.

“The Osceola Leadership Summit is geared toward people who are motivated to learn and do — who really want to make a difference and are interested in improving the quality of life in this area.

“This is a program that will help people grow, and help the community grow as well.”

For more information on the Osceola Leadership Summit, contact Weinberg at 231 679-4998, or by Internet at www.frontlinespecialists.com.