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May 09th, 2021

lead logoROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


The Leadership Enrichment and Development (LEAD) board wants to develop current and future leaders in the Liberal community.

To help with this, the organization is hosting two events April 27.

“It’s our leadership breakfast and lunch that’s sponsored by LEAD,” coordinator Mike Collins said. “LEAD is a non-profit in this area. Our mission is to invest in the leadership in our community.”

Collins said the events are being done in an effort to invest in the community’s leaders, and he believes this will have a broad benefit to Liberal.

“LEAD typically puts on a biannual leadership class called LEAD,” he said. “We’ll have that leadership class in January of 2022. We wanted to do something in those off years. We wanted to do something to still invest in the leadership community in our town.”

LEAD is doing quarterly leadership develop events, which Collins said are focused on to topics meant to help the community.

“In January, we had a speaker come in and talk about stress management,” he said.

The topic for the April 27 event is “How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge.” Collins said many people have a misconception about LEAD’s work only being for those in management positions.

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“We believe leadership is not a title,” he said. “Leadership is influence, and you don’t measure someone’s leadership by how high up they are in their organizational chart, but the influence they have in the company.”

The April 27 session will focus on those in the business world who are not in management positions.

“You feel you can add something of value, but you don’t have the authority to execute that,” Collins said. “You’re not the one who signs the dotted line, or you’re not the one who gives the final approval. How does that kind of person lead? How do you new ideas to the table when you’re not the one who’s the CEO or the president of a company? How do you generate and move those ideas upward?”

Collins said saying leadership is not a title is easy, but showing what it is and how it happens is another story.

“We’re going to give some practical help on how you can lead when you’re not in charge,” he said. “If someone’s in an upper management position, our hope is they’ll come to that. If you’re in charge of people, your greatest hope and desire is those people will operate as leaders and will ultimately make your job a lot easier.” 

The breakfast portion of the upcoming event will start at 7 a.m. April 27 at El Ranchito in Liberal.

“The program is about an hour and 15-minute program,” Collins said. “It’s free. We receive funding as a non-profit to do things like this.”

The lunch session will start at noon in the basement of Equity Bank, with a meal catered by Brick House Barbecue. Collins said space for both sessions is limited.

“The breakfast has three or four slots available,” he said. “Lunch has a decent amount of room available. The lunch session starts at noon.”

Collins said there are a few reasons why many people do not lead, one of which is they do not feel they can lead.

“Their boss doesn’t give them the authority, the freedom, the longer leash, so to speak, to lead,” he said. “On the flip side, I would say there are people who don’t lead because they don’t know how to think like a leader. They don’t know the gift of influence they’ve been given.”

Likewise, Collins said there are times when people do not know how to tap into the resources people have.

“As a leader, you’re in charge of deploying resources, and your greatest resource is people,” he said.  “The best way to deploy that resource is to know your people, to know their strengths, to know when they’re disengaged and how to get them engaged in the mission again and when they’re frustrated and try to help them through that.”

Collins said leadership events like the one on April 27 benefit more than just the individuals who take part in them.

“When a leader gets better, everyone gets better,” he said. “The community gets better. There’s a widespread benefit for it.”

To register for the breakfast, go to To sign up for the lunch, visit

“We’re encouraging them to sign up by Friday, April 23,” Collins said. “There’s nothing to lose. You get a free meal and an investment in your leadership development. This will be a great session for people at all levels of management and even those who aspire to have their ideas heard in their organization.”

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