The 2023-2024 cohort began their day on a brisk Wednesday on the top floor of the Civil War Museum located on Kenosha’s shimmering lakefront. The day included a quick establishment of ground rules for the group, a necessary component of any folks that will be working closely together and talking about tough topics. This was especially important as the day progressed to introduce Mr. Marvin Bembry, the Executive Director of the John Maxwell Team, President of MKB Leadership Transformation, and so much more. Marvin immediately dove into a discussion on inclusive leadership and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Both, he said, are “mutually inclusive.”
“Leadership is not a title, rank or position, but influence.” These are the words of Marvin that will echo in our minds past the time of this cohort. He continued to explain that it doesn’t matter where you are in a company or organization, you can display leadership simply by influencing those around you for the better.
Once we reached his section on “Identity Charts,” we quickly acknowledged a few things that make up our own and each other’s identities, then discovered that inclusion means “when everyone feels like they have a voice,” and so much more. One of the questions presented was regarding inclusion gone too far or too focused, and then leaves out other individuals who should be included as well. Another was how to get individuals in your company to see the vision of inclusion, especially when they have no desire to change or see a new perspective.
After intense discussion the cohort was able to hear from each representative from the projects for this year and ask questions regarding the details. We were able to vote and were sorted quickly during a wonderful pasta lunch. After projects were presented, each team was able to spend time with their representative to discuss the project and next steps.
One of our ground rules of the cohort was to “have fun,” so that is what we set out to do! Each group took to Kenosha, walking or driving, to complete a photo scavenger hunt. The challenges were easy enough, but what we discovered was the true lesson was fun and friendship. Leadership Kenosha 2023-2024 had fun exploring Kenosha and learning that though we are incredibly different, we can learn so much from each other!
October 24, 2023