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Leadership Kenosha — March 2024


The March Leadership Kenosha Cohort Meeting led the group to Gateway Technical College’s Kenosha Campus. The goals of the day were to learn about the education sector in Kenosha to include Gateway and KUSD. The cohort also had the opportunity to explore community wide efforts to increase educational attainment. The morning session focused on these objectives through an overview of Gateway Technical College and its expansive and impressive network in Southeastern Wisconsin by Dr. Matt Janisin. Dr. Janisin was extremely in touch with his college and everything that it has to offer. The session continued in the morning with a presentation from Building our Future by Kevin Meagher and Lawrence Kirby who are very active in the community. I had the privilege of attending the Racial and Equity Institute’s 2-day seminar through Building Our Future and the work that they continue to do in the community is outstanding.

The afternoon session is what truly hit home for me. The Personal and Leadership Branding presentation by H. (Homer lol) Muir was very informative and insightful. John C. Maxwell, through his readings and teachings, states that “leadership is influence.” The grass roots of leadership though is not attained by having the ability to influence, but how you are able to influence continuously. H. Muir’s presentation truly made me think about how I influence and what my “brand” is and how my leadership style has developed. Leadership branding was characterized by H. Muir as a four-pronged approach to building your brand and who you are as a leader. This included your power; your brand assets and attributes, or simply, what are you best at and what are you better at? What benefits can you provide or what role do you play as a leader? This can be uncomfortable for some leaders to answer because it requires them to focus on the things that we do well. I know as a leader I tend to focus on things I can do better for the future, its very introspective to ask for the opposite of someone. The second prong called upon the leader’s purpose; what can you contribute and to whom? Simply put, this is why you lead. This question stems from motivational purposes to ascertain what you provide as a leader, who you provide it to, and what the recipient of your leadership can and should do with that leadership stimulus. The third prong calls for articulation of your personal brand or your “POV/pitch.” This example in its most basic form is the ‘quid pro quo’ of your leadership. Who are you, what can people expect from you, and what do you expect from others? The final prong of the leadership brand exercise is exploring your platform as a leader. This requires you to activate and support your brand of leadership on a larger scale. The discussion with H. Muir during this portion brought up a very interesting point. That point being that as leaders we often focus on our credibility when trying to connect with a target audience. We may discuss our education, experience, competence, etc., when in actuality most audiences care more about warmth when first meeting a leader, versus their credibility.

The afternoon session made an impact on how I will operate on a daily basis in my chosen profession moving forward. In my opinion, leadership is in innate quality that requires constant attention. If you are not looking to better yourself as a leader, you will fail those that look to you for guidance. The ability to sit and interact with H. Muir and his presentation on branding has forever changed me. My brand is important and I now understand that I don’t get a say in what my brand means, it’s up to those that I lead to make that determination.

—Cory Brennan

Posted on

March 21, 2024


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