TCC Embarks Upon Leadership Development

Scott Holstein

According to Webster, the word “leader” can take on three distinct meanings: 1. The position of being a leader. 2. The ability and capacity to lead. 3. The act or instance of leading others. 

In our world there are people who lead and those who execute the cues of leadership. A strong leader and a team of managers working in unison with staff is a beautiful thing to watch and to be a part of. 

Sure, one can learn the principals of leadership from books and mentoring, but nothing compares to experience, learning by trial and error and listening and learning from others who have amassed major accomplishments. 

Earlier this year, Tallahassee Community College invested in becoming a sponsor site for Chick-fil-A’s annual Leadercast program. This one-day event brings together some of the most successful leaders and brilliant minds on one stage so they can share their thoughts on and experience with leadership.

When I heard about this, I didn’t hesitate to have 850 — the Business Magazine of Northwest Florida become a media sponsor, and I blocked off the day and became a note-taking student. 

Chick-fil-A filled the Georgia Dome that Friday in May with amazing corporate horsepower. The event was simulcast to 750 sponsored locations around the world (including Tallahassee), reaching more than 120,000 individuals who were seeking the knowledge, inspiration and motivation to become smarter, well-rounded leaders. 

I honestly arrived that morning with few expectations other than the knowledge I would be listening to great leaders like Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, corporate icon and author Jack Welch, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others I didn’t know. 

Krzyzewski related how he accomplished the major feat of taking the individual talents and egos of a group of NBA stars and molding them into a gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic basketball team. Welch spent 70 percent of his corporate CEO life as a mentor to his management team and spoke of how and why leaders need to constantly prune their corporate rose bush of employees. Rice explained how she personally managed her time and mind doing one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in the world today.

Greeting guests that day were TCC’s President Jim Murdaugh, Robin Johnston, vice president for Institutional Advancement and TCC’s Foundation director, and Kimberly Moore, vice president of Workforce Development  — the driving forces behind bringing this day to Tallahassee. They are strong, visionary leaders for Tallahassee Community College and are committed to bringing this type of ongoing learning resource to our area for those seeking to learn about or fine-tune their leadership skill sets. 

But it wasn’t all classroom work. The emcee, Tripp Crosby, had a quick and self-deprecating wit and provided several short and light-hearted entertaining breaks in the action. There was also a three-course lunch catered by Klassic Katering, snacks and gift portfolio. 

To top it all off, everyone’s car was meticulously washed while they attended the event. Yes, all this for around a hundred dollars. That was the best hundred dollars I’ve spent in the past year, hands down. 

Sadly, one observation I made that day was that just a relatively small group of Tallahassee senior leadership attended. 

When a leader feels there is nothing else to learn, or is unwilling to pause to learn more about leadership, they, their staff and their company will suffer. 

As Tallahassee embarks on its journey to the next level, through Imagine Tallahassee, I can only urge the community’s leadership in the private, public and political sectors to never forget to seek more knowledge. It will bring you, your staff and whatever you lead closer to success. 

Count me in for tickets next year, plus the sponsorship of Tallahassee and Emerald Coast magazines. If you are interested in being notified of next year’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast date, just send me an email ( and it will be done. 

This will be the best investment you make in yourself, your company and its destiny in 2014. 

Categories: From The Publisher, Opinion