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Transformational Leadership
Transformational LeadershipJune 17, 2024By Tomi Rogers, IPS AdministrationI recently attended a conference for women in leadership hosted by the UT System. There was a track of programming designed around the book, “Leadershift” by John C. Maxwell. One of the topics from the book centered on transformational leadership and its importance, particularly in the workplace. The text explains how transformational leaders feel things others do not feel. For example, a different world cannot be built by indifferent people. Passion creates energy and tenacity in people. It should fire up leaders and those who join them. I would encourage each of us to take a deeper look and determine if we possess the passion to rally others to make positive change. Positive changes, no matter how major or minor, can make a world of difference in the workplace. While we do not possess a magic wand to create a perfect workplace, we can certainly find ways to impact our environments progressively. To do this, the book shares a few values we should consider embracing for transformation: Attitude: your attitude colors everything in your life Commitment: it separates doers from dreamers Competence: the shortest path to credibility is competence Forgiveness: forgiveness empowers you to live with a light heart Initiative: you cannot experience success unless you start Personal Growth: people who keep learning always have a future Relationships: the quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life Work Ethic: working hard brings inner satisfaction every day Finally, a statement shared at the conference is that “change isn’t always better…but better doesn’t happen without change.” I couldn’t agree with this statement more! [...]Read more...
Truth-Telling in Leadership
Truth-Telling in LeadershipJune 10, 2024By Dr. Herb Byrd III 19th-century American humorist Josh Billings wrote a one-liner in his 1886 edition of complete works that seems to be the source of several adaptations. He wrote, “I honestly beleave it iz better tew know nothing than two know what ain’t so.” I’ve heard it said, “Our problem is not what we know, it’s what we know that just ain’t so.”  It seems to me that our culture is becoming less demanding of leaders and public figures when it comes to truth-telling. It seems like some leaders practice a behavior of saying something loudly enough, often enough, and in enough venues or social media outlets that eventually folks actually believe it. As a result, the cynics of us get to the point where we don’t believe anything until verified. The trusting of us gets pulled into honestly believing something that “just ain’t so.” Then there are those who seem to relish and capitalize on misinformation and try to profit by playing both ends against the middle.  After coming to IPS, I really appreciated the conversation Dr. DiPietro initiated. Even though we had known each other and had a reporting relationship for some time, he broached a topic we had not discussed. He said, “There is one thing I demand of my direct reports. That is that they must be truth-tellers.” He went on to explain that if there was ever a time when I failed to tell him something he needed to know, or knowingly promoted a falsehood, that I would no longer have a job. What a blessing it was to have a leader that demanded truth-telling! Unfortunately, not all in leadership positions want to hear the truth. Some even create their own truth. Sometimes it is because they really believe something that “just ain’t so.” Sometimes they do know the truth but are seeking to gain some kind of advantage by withholding information, communicating partial information, or even promoting false information. Sometimes it is an attempt to avoid the consequences of bad behavior, poor judgment, or negative press. Sometimes I think folks just get in a bad habit of not being thoughtful of what they say. The result is that we become skeptical of the person’s veracity. Then, if they make commitments, we even doubt that they will follow through and do what they say they will do. I realize that sometimes leaders cannot tell all they know, and sometimes may struggle with just what to say. Still, as we have often heard, honesty is always the best policy. This week, Dan Rockwell reposted a tweet from Steve Keating (@LeadToday) where he said, “Authentic leaders don’t say they will when they know for a fact they won’t. Be that person who keeps their word; who honors their commitments even when it isn’t convenient.” Let’s strive to be leaders who are truth-tellers as we L. E. A. D. !, – even when not convenient! [...]Read more...
Inspire, Empower, Communicate. Transform.
Inspire, Empower, Communicate. Transform.May 20, 2024By Kelley McNeal, CTAS As you know, there are many leadership styles. In your careers, you have probably experienced several different ones. I have always been drawn to inspirational motivation; therefore, transformational leadership resonates with me. I feel that most of us in the public sector are already looking to improve our world and are not solely focused on self-interest. In government, effective leadership is essential for driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and delivering desired results. Effective transformational leaders are skilled at motivating employees to perform beyond what’s expected. This leadership approach can be utilized in government to improve service delivery, promote employee engagement, and drive positive change. This leadership style inspires individuals to embrace change by fostering a culture of accountability, ownership, and workplace autonomy. Transformational leadership revolves around inspiring and empowering individuals to transcend self-interest and pursue collective goals. This leadership paradigm, as articulated by James MacGregor Burns and later refined by Bernard M. Bass, comprises four key components: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. At its core, transformational leadership transcends traditional hierarchical structures by inspiring and motivating individuals to achieve extraordinary outcomes. One of the primary ways transformational leadership can help government work better is by articulating a vision that resonates with stakeholders and inspires collective action. By clearly defining the mission, values, and strategic objectives of the organization, leaders can align the efforts of employees toward a common purpose with a sense of shared commitment and direction. Transformational leaders lead by example and model integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct. By demonstrating a commitment to accountability and ethical governance, leaders can instill trust and confidence among employees and the public. Empowering and engaging employees is another hallmark of transformational leadership that can significantly enhance government effectiveness. By delegating authority and decision-making to capable team members, leaders can foster a culture of autonomy and ownership. This enables employees to take initiative and contribute meaningfully to organizational goals. By providing support and opportunities for skill development, leaders can create a culture of continuous learning and professional growth. This equips employees with the tools and resources they need to excel. Promoting collaboration and communication is essential for government agencies and departments. Transformational leaders break down silos and promote cross-functional collaboration. This creates an environment where different perspectives are valued. By creating opportunities for open dialogue, knowledge sharing, and collective problem-solving, leaders can harness the collective intelligence and creativity of their teams to address complex challenges and drive organizational excellence. Finally, transformational leadership emphasizes the importance of fostering a culture of inclusivity, diversity, and equity. Leaders can harness the unique talents and perspectives of all employees, fostering a culture of respect, empathy, and belonging. This enhances employee morale and satisfaction and enables government agencies to better serve the diverse needs of the communities they represent. [...]Read more...
How do you Lead When you Don’t Know Where you’re Going?
How do you Lead When you Don’t Know Where you’re Going?May 13, 2024How do you lead when you don’t know where you’re going? By Dr. Jennifer Tourville, SMART Being in a new leadership role with the Institute for Public Service and being a member of the IPS Leadership Team, I have recently spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of leadership skills I need to make our new SMART Initiative successful. I have read many books and attended numerous presentations. However, there is one area that isn’t often discussed, I assume since it is not relevant to many leaders. What I have recently been on the search for is “How do you lead when you don’t know where you’re going?” I quickly shuffled from a faculty role at UT Knoxville to working with the president’s office to becoming a permanent employee of IPS. I then took on the task of growing a team and establishing new programs without a clear path forward. This has been challenging, though also exciting and rewarding. My limited experience starting large initiatives coupled with the critical need for success caused me to be uncertain in my decision-making, leading me to doubt myself and my abilities often. I began looking for guidance and instruction regarding how to construct a path forward, where do we want to go, who needs to be on the journey, and how do we get there? While I still don’t, and maybe never will, have clear answers to those questions, I was able to find some helpful material that I return to when I’m lost or in doubt. One of my favorites is a short article by Kuchler, How to Lead Through the Unknown, which discusses some strategies that I use as guidance: Embrace uncertainty: unforeseen circumstances give us a chance for creativity. Learn from your mistakes: missteps and mistakes will happen, take time to learn from them and leverage your adaptability. Cultivate an open mind: accept that you do not know everything, create a culture where people are encouraged to think outside the box and ask questions. Build a foundation of trust: be vulnerable as a leader, give your team hope by establishing trust and stability that will allow everyone to work together through whatever challenges are ahead. While information found online and in books hasn’t resolved our challenges or made our path clear, it has made me consider the kind of work environment I want to foster, that I believe will get us where we need to be. We are not one boss and five employees. We are a team of six. Everyone has a voice. Everyone contributes ideas. Everyone’s perspective is valued. None of us knows everything, but we each carry a piece of the puzzle, and we will find our way by working together. [...]Read more...
Why Do We Call the Exercise of Leadership Art?
Why Do We Call the Exercise of Leadership Art?May 7, 2024By Dr. Herb Byrd III  One of these days I aspire to learn to paint. To really take some image I have in my head, to apply colors and blends and hues and textures to a canvas, and to be able to recognize it as a close approximation. I admire anyone who can do this in any medium or artistic frame. Most would agree upon the reasons we call this art. But today, I could take the same paint, the same brushes, the same canvas, and the same image and compared to the painting a real artist completed, mine would not even qualify as art. Not even if we called it “modern art” or “abstract art.”  Leadership is called art for many of the same reasons. The skills, principles, communication and other components can be the same, but different people employ them in different ways. When it all comes together well, leadership is art. In thinking about this, I did a Google search for books with “Leadership” and “Art” in the title. That search generated more than 50 books! One, Fables and the Art of Leadership, took lessons from Mr. Rogers. Several linked leadership, art and warriors. Another applied the concept to combat, the boardroom and the kitchen table. It is interesting to see the many thoughts around leadership and art just in book titles.  Our IPS Leadership Team has just finished reading the book Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. These authors, near the end of the book, illustrate some of the reasons that the exercise of leadership may be considered an art. They point out some of the dichotomies of leadership.  The Dichotomy of Leadership A good leader must be: confident but not cocky; courageous but not foolhardy; competitive but a gracious loser; attentive to details but not obsessed by them; strong but have endurance; a leader and follower; humble not passive; aggressive not overbearing; quiet not silent; calm but not robotic, logical but not devoid of emotions; close with the troops but not so close that one becomes more important than another or more important than the good of the team; not so close that they forget who is in charge. able to execute Extreme Ownership, while exercising Decentralized Command. These are a lot to consider, especially when thinking about how much of each, when, and how they should be applied. How do you consider the artistry of leadership as you L. E. A. D. !. ? Willink, J., & Babin, E. (2017), Extreme Ownership: How U. S. Navy Seals Lead and Win. St. Martin’s Press: New York. (pp. 277-278) [...]Read more...
Jefferson County Recognized for Opioid Settlement Planning Process
Jefferson County Recognized for Opioid Settlement Planning ProcessApril 19, 2024Jefferson County announced it is receiving of one of the inaugural awards for Excellence in the Application of the Opioid Litigation Principles. The Opioid Litigation Principles were developed by a coalition of organizations from across the spectrum of the substance use field and by faculty and staff from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They are a set of evidence-based strategies to guide state and local policymakers on how to use the national settlement funds. Jefferson County received this award for demonstrating how its decision-making process reflects the following principles: 1. Spend the Money to Save Lives 2. Use Evidence to Guide Spending 3. Invest in Youth Prevention 4. Focus on Racial Equity 5. Develop a Fair and Transparent Process for Deciding Where to Spend the Funding The principles are described in a report coordinated by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health which provides details and examples to guide jurisdictions’ efforts. Jefferson County established an Advisory Opioid Board composed of content experts and community leaders across various sectors. This board oversees and guides the allocation and expenditure of opioid settlement funds using the established principles. Cognizant of the commendable initiatives already underway in the community, the Jefferson County Opioid Board instituted a Request for Proposals (RFP) and a grant application process to streamline allocation and create a fair process. The county’s primary goal within this process is to prioritize initiatives that distinctly demonstrate principle 1: Spend the Money to Save Lives. In addition, the Jefferson County Opioid Board has established a partnership with the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service’s SMART (Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource of Tennessee) initiative offering valuable expertise in the development of the grant process, evidence-based and promising practices, and success metrics for funded projects. Jefferson County encourages all policymakers to consider using the principles when developing strategies for allocation of the opioid settlement funds. “The recognition of Jefferson County Opioid Task Force is directly related to all the members of the task force, nonprofits, UT SMART Initiative, and the people of Jefferson County,” said Jefferson County Mayor Mark Potts. [...]Read more...
Focus on the Facts of a Situation
Focus on the Facts of a SituationApril 18, 2024By Rhiannon Jones, LEIC I am a self-proclaimed overthinker; if there’s a way to ruminate on something, I’m going to do it. Recently, for Leadership Academy, I started reading “Reality-Based Leadership” by Cy Wakeman. I have been pleasantly surprised by this book and even a few chapters in, have found some valuable lessons. The biggest takeaway has been related to my over-thinking. In the book, Wakeman notes that stress is not caused by what happens to us, but rather by the stories we tell ourselves about it. In a chain of events, the one thing that we can control is the way we think about it. Wakeman notes that in the absence of the whole picture, we tell ourselves stories or make assumptions about what has happened, none of which are based in fact; we overthink it. Instead, we should focus on the facts of the situation, what we know to be true, not what we have manufactured to fill in gaps. As Wakeman points out, information that is missing does not have any emotion attached to it until we start adding our version of reality; this leads to stress, anger, fear, anxiety, and a host of other emotions that only serve to complicate the matter and skew our perception to fit our preconceived notions. Wakeman outlines a series of questions that allow us to respond to the facts, not the story that we have used to supplement the situation: What do I believe in this moment? What do I know for sure? (What are the facts) Who am I as a manager or as an employee when I believe this story? Without this story, what would I do to help? How can I help? What is the very next thing I can do to add value right now? These questions allow us to parse what we actually know about a situation and what we are adding to it ourselves and then evaluate what really matters to the outcome. Reading Wakeman’s book has allowed me to reflect on how often I insert emotion into a situation that would not have it otherwise. This is easy to do without realizing the impact it has on how we approach a situation. But this usually does not lead to productive outcomes. Wakeman also notes that our ego is intrinsically linked to the emotions we try to add to a situation; putting our ego aside is essential to reaching the best, and most professional, outcome. [...]Read more...
Leadership Lessons
Leadership LessonsApril 9, 2024Leading Up By Jon Walden, CTAS In today’s fast-moving work world, being a good leader means more than just leading a team. It’s also important to know how to work effectively with your bosses to achieve success for your organization. This is called leading up and involves skills like communicating well, collaborating with others, and influencing people in higher positions. Mastering these skills can create a positive work culture and help your agency move forward. Leading up is about using the right strategies for positive organizational changes. It means understanding what your bosses want to achieve and working with them to support their vision. By building strong relationships and sharing ideas, we can all work together to achieve our goals and make a difference. Good communication is key to leading up. To get your ideas across, ensure they align with your superiors’ objectives and use data to support your proposals. Building trust is vital for being a good leader. You can do this by consistently showing that you can be relied upon to get things done, offering helpful advice, and coming up with innovative solutions to problems. To be a successful leader, it’s also important to think ahead and anticipate any issues before they become major problems. This means considering different perspectives and taking a proactive approach to challenges. Collaboration is important in any workplace. People working together from different departments or teams can achieve more than alone. By showing how your ideas can benefit other university areas, you can get more people on board with your plans and increase your influence. Building relationships with people across the institute can help you make more allies and get more support for your initiatives. So, try to reach out to people horizontally and vertically, and see what you can achieve together! It’s important to understand the challenges and duties faced by those in positions of authority. It’s essential to be considerate and supportive whenever possible. Recognize their limitations and be flexible. Try to anticipate their needs and offer helpful solutions to make their work easier. Leading others is an important skill in today’s complex organizations. It means ensuring that your goals align with the organization’s goals. When you’re good at leading others in this way, you can have a big impact on the success and growth of the whole organization. It’s important to remember that being a leader isn’t just about having a fancy job title – it’s about being able to inspire and make positive changes, no matter your role. [...]Read more...
Leadership Lessons
Leadership LessonsMarch 4, 2024Can We Make Civility a Norm? By Dr. Herb Byrd III Coming home from the UT Board of Trustees meeting, I listened to an interview of the current governor of Utah, Spencer Cox. One reason for the interview was that he and his opponent in the election pledged to run a civil, clean campaign. The person doing the interview tried multiple times to get Governor Cox to say something critical about other political figures with opposing views. Governor Cox did a masterful job of talking about issues and would not make negative comments about people. While demonstrating a willingness to listen, he did not take the bait to disparage another person. Sunday afternoon on the way to Nashville, I heard another interview on NPR radio about communication. The main point was that we should “listen to understand.” Or, as my friend and retired UT professor Kathy Greenberg always said, we should “listen to be influenced.” Governor Cox believes the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward civility and a willingness to listen. Currently, these two traits are in seemingly in short supply in many leaders today. Can a civility revolution begin with each of us as we L. E. A.D ! ? [...]Read more...
Unless We Use Respect, It’s Wasted
Unless We Use Respect, It’s WastedFebruary 29, 2024Innovation, Honesty, Engagement, Accountability, & Respect – I HEAR By Lynn Reed, CIS Our global population was estimated to have reached eight billion people as of November 15th, 2022, and grew by another eighty-three million in 2023. The people of our world speak many different languages (seven thousand in all with less than twenty-five being the most used). Over half the world’s population (63%) practice some form of religion. There are over one thousand different ethnic groups in our world based on ancestry, history, language, or culture. We are taught differently, we speak differently, we think differently, we believe differently, we dress differently, we have different customs, we eat different foods, we are of different color, and to top it all off, we are, most times, kilometers apart in different parts of the world. So, when we start to contemplate why respect seems such a foreign word in our vocabulary, we now have at least some insight as to its cause. We are different. Every individual born into this world is a product of their environment. Consider for a moment that we are born pretty much an empty slate. As babies, we cry, we eat and have a few biological functions. We see, we hear, we feel, smell, and taste, and that is our start in the world. Given this, the world, and the environment in which we live write upon that empty slate. We learn as we grow. We experience sadness, joy, pain, suffering, anger, hate, loneliness, compassion, empathy, guilt, hunger, love, peace, and all the other emotions people feel. And, while this is going on, these experiences somehow write upon that slate shaping our inner values and making us who we are. As an example, I was and still am a country boy from West Tennessee. My wife says, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy!” As a youth, I remember being taught by my parents to respect my elders. That lesson never left me. I was taught to say, “Yes Sir” and “No Ma’am” and to follow directions. As I grew older, I learned the value of hard work. I was taught to farm the land and could plow and plant, cultivate, and harvest crops. I helped put winter hay in the barn and corn in the crib for livestock and spent countless hours on tractors and combines in the spring, summer, and fall. I also learned the value of an education. I had several mentors in my life but most notably my grandparents who lived across the road, one of my uncles (also a farmer) and aunt just down the road, and, most importantly, my parents. I learned respect and many other values at the foot of some of the most important people I knew, loved, and looked up to for approval and validation of who I was. I had some incredibly great experiences in my life and some that were, well, let us just say, not so great. All these experiences wrote on the slate of who I am. I would bet you could say the same thing about yourself. Think back a moment on your own life. Who were your mentors and what did they teach you about respect and the other values you learned as a kid? What experiences did you have growing up or as an adult (both good and bad) that shaped who you are? How do your values affect who you have become, and do you think those values have changed over the years? All good questions to ponder. I know I digressed a little, but I did it for a reason – to demonstrate that values are outcomes of learned human experiences. We are not born with them, nor did they just magically appear when we reached the age of reason. Also, values are not drilled into us in a single moment though some experiences are more impactful than others. No, our values are shaped as we age, much like a fine wine, and a value like respect varies from person to person because of our experiences. It is unlikely any of our mentors taught us respect in the exact same way. They did, however, set good examples and modeled the way for us. Do we ever stop learning about respect from or for others? The answer is NO – otherwise, what is the point of talking about it or authoring this article. Considering the differences, I spoke of earlier, it is not surprising respect takes a back seat sometimes. We see everyday examples of well-known people doing pretty much the opposite. They do not show respect for others and, to varying degrees, degrade, and deface respect as an unimportant value. They attack and tear other people down. They impose their will on others without asking. They value their own wants and needs above that of others. Without respect, we become more divisive and disenfranchised. We gather into smaller cliques thinking our way is the only way and other opinions have little importance. Respect is different. Respect values –  it does not cheapen, denigrate, degrade, or reduce. It uplifts. It meets people where they are without regard to their differences. More respect would mean less war, opposition, and peace. I recently read an article sharing a story about a man who gave away four weeks of his vacation time to a young mother and coworker suffering from depression and in need of additional vacation time she did not have. This man gave away something of great value to her without expecting anything in return. Respect is very much like this. We should respect others without expecting anything in return other than knowing it was the right thing to do. Respect does not mean we agree with another’s ideology or beliefs. However, it does mean we appreciate them as a person even when they do not reciprocate. Which leads me to some final thoughts on respect. Respect is a value we all have. But unless we use and model it, it is wasted. It becomes a value we learned at some point and knowingly discarded because of one or more of our own life experiences. Respect is not focused inward although I agree we must first respect ourselves before we can respect others. When we are respectful, extraordinary things happen. Laurence Sterne said, “Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.”  There is truth in the statement that to get respect, we must first give it. Respect tells others everything they need to know about who we are – both our morals and our manners! Respect means so much more than we might think at first glance for it always reflects on us and who we are! [...]Read more...
Extreme Ownership and BE ONE UT
Extreme Ownership and BE ONE UTFebruary 19, 2024By Kelley McNeal, CTAS Jocko Willink and Leif Babin draw powerful leadership principles from their experiences as U.S. Navy SEALs in “Extreme Ownership.”  Each chapter describes a leadership lesson learned during their combat or training experience. The chapter explains the leadership principle and the principle’s application to business. As I was reading, I realized that the principles aligned with the values and desired behaviors of BE ONE UT. After the chapter name, I have added the value and behavior from BE ONE UT that I think align with each chapter. 1. Extreme Ownership:  B – BOLD & IMPACTFUL The chapter explains the foundational principle of leaders taking complete responsibility for outcomes. Ownership means leaders must embrace accountability for the entire organization. 2. No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders:  E – EXCEL IN ALL WE DO This chapter reinforces the notion that team performance is a direct reflection of leadership effectiveness. It emphasizes the need to invest in leadership development throughout the organization. 3. Believe:  O – OPTIMISTIC & VISIONARY and T – TRANSPARENT & TRUSTED Belief in the organization’s mission must be ingrained at every level. This chapter reinforces the idea that a shared vision embraced by the entire team becomes a driving force for success. 4. Check the Ego: U – UNITED & CONNECTED The chapter advocates for humility and a focus on collective success. Leaders should encourage team members to share ideas and collaborate without the hindrance of ego-driven barriers. 5. Cover and Move:  U – UNITED & CONNECTED Leaders must encourage cross-functional collaboration to ensure the organization operates as a cohesive unit. The principle of covering and moving aligns with strategic planning and execution. 6. Simple:  U – UNITED & CONNECTED The principle of simplicity guides leaders to streamline communication, optimize processes, and maintain a laser focus on key objectives. This chapter advocates an approach that fosters clarity, efficiency, and decisiveness. 7. Prioritize and Execute:  E – EXCEL IN ALL WE DO The authors stress the importance of prioritizing tasks and decisively executing them. The concept of prioritizing high-impact tasks aligns well with strategic planning ensuring the team focuses on initiatives that contribute most significantly to overall objectives. 8. Decentralized Command:  T – TRANSPARENT & TRUSTED and N – NIMBLE & INNOVATION This principle advocates for empowering teams to make decisions at the lowest possible level. Leaders must trust their team members, allowing for agility and quick responses to challenges without unnecessary hurdles. 9. Plan:  O – OPTIMISTIC & VISIONARY and E – EXCEL IN ALL WE DO The emphasis on comprehensive planning is a cornerstone of success. Planning is not merely about creating a roadmap; it involves foreseeing potential challenges and preparing for contingencies. 10. Leading Up and Down the Chain of Command: N – NIMBLE & INNOVATION and  U – UNITED & CONNECTED Leadership is not confined to a hierarchical structure. Leading up and down the chain of command is crucial for fostering collaboration and ensuring the entire team is aligned with organizational goals. 11. Decisiveness and Uncertainty:  T – TRANSPARENT & TRUSTED  This chapter underscores the importance of making informed decisions swiftly. This principle encourages leaders to trust their judgment and act decisively even when faced with ambiguity. 12. Discipline Equals Freedom – The Dichotomy of Leadership:  N – NIMBLE & INNOVATIVE The authors highlight the paradoxical relationship between discipline and freedom. Establishing disciplined processes allows for the flexibility required to navigate the ever-changing business landscape. I love the underlying mind set of Extreme Ownership found on page 14 “Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.” This mind set can be applied to all situations. This book provides a roadmap for leaders to instill a culture of ownership, accountability, and collaboration. [...]Read more...
One Foot in Front of the Other
One Foot in Front of the OtherFebruary 12, 2024By Eric Spencer, MTAS I’m an outdoors guy and an avid backpacker.  I love spending time on the trail.  As spring approaches, my wife and I are already planning which backpacking trips we are going to tackle this year.  As we are considering parks to visit and routes to take, it’s made me look back and reminisce about some of the lessons I’ve learned over the miles, much of which can be applied to our roles as leaders. Get your trail legs.  Trail legs are essential to being successful in hiking long, continuous distances.  The concept is to essentially don’t go too fast and too hard right out of the trailhead.  Oftentimes a trail, like life and leadership, starts with an uphill climb.  If you start too strong and too fast, it will wear you out and make the hike that much tougher.  Go at a speed that will allow your legs and lungs to get stronger as you go.  Once you get those trail legs, you can pick up the pace.  The same goes for leadership.  Don’t try to cover too much ground at the start.  Take your time, learn the capabilities of yourself and your team, and make improvements as you gain those trail legs. It’s all about attitude.  Backpacking is extremely rewarding, but honestly, it’s not very comfortable.  Dealing with a heavy pack, everchanging weather, bug bites, and constant rocks and roots that trip you are just part of the journey.  Keeping a positive attitude will help you overcome the problems, frustration, and pain that are inevitable.  We face these same issues in leadership roles.  Success will only come with a positive attitude – pain is just part of the process. Sometimes, the simple solution is the best one.  If you are on the trail in the rain, you will likely see people in rain jackets and pants trying to keep dry.  The problem with this is that as you hike, you get hot, and then you sweat, and it can get miserable under a rainsuit.  The simple solution…use an umbrella.  I’ve carried one for years and it serves me well.  It will keep you relatively dry, but not near as hot.  As leaders, we may think we need something transformational, like that rainsuit, to solve the problem, but a lot of times the solution is simple…just pull out the umbrella.  It can be a lot more comfortable. The main thing in hiking, and leadership, is to just keep moving.  Putting one foot in front of the other will get you down the trail and to your ultimate goal.  On every trip you take, you will learn something about yourself, and grow to appreciate that adaptability is essential.  You’ll face something new, and through your resilience, you will be forced to find a solution.  Resources are limited on the trial, so you will learn to work with what you have.  After you have faced some challenges, you will understand that you are capable of much more than you realize.  So, get out there, be present in the moment, enjoy the trip, and just keep moving. [...]Read more...
Good Leadership Makes A Difference!
Good Leadership Makes A Difference!February 2, 2024By Dr. Herb Byrd III Last month’s LEAD! article was inspired by a visit Resa and I made between Christmas and New Year’s Day to the Little White House in Key West, Fla.  I’d like to revisit (figuratively) the Little White House one more time to make another observation. That observation is: Good Leadership Makes a (positive) Difference! Our tour guide was good to point out times the house had been used by other presidents or dignitaries. One such time was captured by a photograph on display where on April 3, 2001, Secretary Colin Powell met for peace talks with Armenian President Kocharian and Azerbaijani President Aliyev. Former Secretary and General Powell is an outstanding leader himself. This story is a point he made about another who was not his contemporary. According to the guide, Powell was asked why he held the meeting there, in the Little White House. Powell indicated it was out of respect for, and recognition of former President Harry Truman and his accomplishments. Confused, the questioner asked for more information. Powell is said to have replied, “Were it not for President Harry Truman, I would now be an Army cook.” While a C-Span presidential poll of 64 leading historians in 2009 ranked Truman 5th among all presidents to that point, Truman was unpopular with many in his day for some of the courageous changes he made. The Little White House still has the original desk where he penned Executive Order 9981 which mandated the desegregation of the U.S. Military. An article on the Executive Order* says, “Truman’s order received pushback from politicians, generals, and friends, who opposed an integrated military. Truman wrote in response to his detractors, “I am asking for equality of opportunity for all human beings, and as long as I stay here, I am going to continue that fight.” Truman’s fight created opportunities for Powell that had not existed before July 26, 1948. To Powell, the Little White House was a logical place to work toward historic outcomes. Powell recognized that though not appreciated at the time, Truman’s leadership made a positive difference! Leadership makes a difference. What difference do you and I want to make as we L.E.A.D.! ??? *From: National Park Service. (updated August 21, 2023). Executive Order 9981, Desegregating the Military. https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/executive-order-9981.htm#:~:text=On%20July%2026%2C%201948%2C%20President,desegregation%20of%20the%20U.S.%20military. (accessed 1/31/2024). [...]Read more...
Fifth Cohort Selected for UT Executive Leadership Institute
Fifth Cohort Selected for UT Executive Leadership InstituteJanuary 11, 2024Twenty-four executives from campuses and institutes across the University of Tennessee System were chosen to make up the 2024 class of the Executive Leadership Institute. The institute, which is operated by the UT Institute for Public Service’s Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership, develops executive leaders for the needs of the UT System. Members of the fifth cohort will begin their year-long journey with an orientation Jan. 23 in Nashville. They are: Brian Broyles, vice chancellor of advancement, UT Knoxville Chris Clark, executive dean, UT Institute of Agriculture Chris Finch, chair and professor, UT Health Science Center Yousef Hamadeh, associate general counsel, UT Chattanooga Andrew Horton, deputy athletic director – external operations, UT Chattanooga Shewanee Howard-Baptiste, vice provost for academic outreach and professional development, UT Chattanooga Jackie Johnson, assistant vice chancellor for alumni relations and annual giving, UT Foundation/UT Martin Alumni Tarah Keeler, deputy chief human resources officer, UT Knoxville Maha Krishnamurthy, president, UT Research Foundation, UT System Katie Lane, deputy general counsel, UT System Chandra Myrick, associate vice chancellor of student life, UT Knoxville Mansour Parsi, acting chair, department of medicine, UT Health Science Center Tony Parsley, associate vice chancellor of IT and associate CIO, UT Chattanooga Danny Pirtle, associate professor of criminal justice, UT Martin Aimee Rose, vice chancellor of strategic communication and marketing, UT Southern Erica Siemers, senior associate vice chancellor of development, UT Chattanooga Ansley Stanfill, associate dean of research, college of nursing, UT Health Science Center Ashley Stokes, dean, UT Extension, UT Institute of Agriculture Jessie Thoman, professor of music, UT Martin Jennifer Tourville, executive director, UT Institute for Public Service – SMART Initiative Josh Warren, senior director of state relations and partnership, government relations and advocacy, UT System Jennifer Webster, chief of staff, office of research, innovations and economic development, UT Knoxville Brent Wren, vice chancellor, enrollment and student affairs, UT Southern Rumira Xhaferaj, chief business officer and budget director, UT Institute for Public Service The Executive Leadership Institute operates on a cohort basis. Candidates must first be nominated by their campus leadership to apply for the institute. [...]Read more...
SMART Partners with Gibson Gives
SMART Partners with Gibson GivesOctober 11, 2023The Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource of Tennessee (SMART), a program of the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service (IPS), has partnered with Gibson Gives–the charitable foundation for Gibson, the iconic and leading global instrument brand–to place ONEbox™ opioid emergency response kits in Knoxville music venues. Since January, the Gibson Gives’ Training and Empowering Musicians to Prevent Overdose (TEMPO) Nashville Live Music Venue Program has been offering ONEbox kits to 72 live music venues in the Music City metro area. The ONEbox™ opioid emergency response kits contain two doses of the opioid reversal medication naloxone (as Kloxxado®), as well as personal protective equipment and video instructions that are activated when Onebox is opened. “Our SMART staff is excited to be partnering with Gibson Gives to place overdose reversal instruction and medication in our local musical venues,” said SMART Executive Director Jennifer Tourville. “We feel fortunate that Gibson Gives has contributed the supplies to save lives in our community. In fact, we know that right after we distributed the kits to local venues, a life was saved at one of the sites.” SMART, which became a part of the institute in early 2022, advises community leaders in implementing evidence-based, cost-effective strategies that mitigate damage from substance use disorder, and the opioid epidemic. Recently, they’ve worked closely with their sister agency, the County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), to give counties guidance on using their opioid settlement funds. “Gibson Gives and TEMPO are pleased to expand free access to life-saving naloxone for music venues and fans in Knoxville,” adds Dendy Jarrett, Executive Director of Gibson Gives. “Following Hikma’s $1 million dollar donation of naloxone (Kloxxado) to the TEMPO program, we partnered with the Tennessee Department of Health CDC Foundation Overdose Response Strategy in TN, and the Metro Nashville Police Department and created a program offering easy access for life-saving naloxone (Kloxxado®)to be available to the public inside 72+ live music venues via the ONEbox™, giving them the ability to reverse opioid overdoses and save lives.” Gibson Gives’ TEMPO program is a partnership of 12 music-industry related non-profits across the U.S. including MusiCares, The Scars Foundation, The Roadie Clinic, Sandgaard Foundation, Sims Foundation, Harbor Path, Musicians For Overdose Prevention, Life By Music, Passenger Recovery, National Harm Reduction, and Solace For Hope which provide life-saving training for using naloxone(Kloxxado®)–to prevent/reverse opioid overdoses–and offer a network for recovery from opioid addiction.  SMART: WEBSITE Gibson Gives: GIBSON GIVES.ORG   About SMART: Providing Leadership in Mitigating the Opioid Crisis in Tennessee: The Substance Misuse and Addiction Resource for Tennessee (SMART) Initiative guides community leaders in implementing evidence-based, cost-effective strategies that mitigate damage from substance use disorder and the opioid epidemic. Originating in 2020 as the SMART Policy Network, the SMART Initiative grew in scope as it was incorporated into the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service in early 2022. In addition to examining and communicating data and policies related to substance use disorder, the SMART Initiative seeks to empower communities and local governments to combat the overdose epidemic. The SMART Policy Network periodically publishes research findings, data and best practices in the form of policy briefs. You can join our mailing list to get the latest policy briefs in your inbox, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. About Gibson Gives: For over 130 years, the iconic and leading American instrument brand Gibson has been shaping sound across generations and genres. Gibson, and its charitable arm Gibson Gives believe in the power of music, and that getting instruments into the hands of those with a desire to make music is a life-changing event. Gibson Gives–a 501(c)(3) is committed to making the world a better place by supporting non-profit organizations and programs in their efforts to advance musicians, youth-focused education, music, health, and wellness initiatives. 100% of all donations to and from Gibson Gives go towards giving the gift of music. In the last three years, Gibson Gives has raised over $4.5 million dollars and enabled $46 million in funding for key organizations through product donations and meaningful giving worldwide. For more information, visit: www.gibsongives.org. [...]Read more...
LEIC Helps State Facilitate Violent Crime Intervention Grants
LEIC Helps State Facilitate Violent Crime Intervention GrantsJune 12, 2023Tennessee’s violent crime rate ranks as one of the highest in the nation.  Fortunately, Governor Bill Lee is taking action, in part by releasing $100 million for violent crime intervention. “As Americans face rising crime nationwide, Tennessee is equipping law enforcement with the tools needed to keep every community safe,” said Lee. The Violent Crime Intervention Fund (VCIF) initiative launched in October 2022 to support local law enforcement agencies’ work to reduce violent crime and strengthen public safety. The UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) was fortunate to be able to assist in this endeavor. Agencies could apply through the Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs (TNOCJP) for two types of grant funding, formula and collaborative. The formula funding was allocated to each eligible law enforcement agency in the state with the amount being determined by several factors including the agency’s violent crime statistics. Amounts ranged from $20,000 for small agencies to $3 million for larger agencies.  The collaborative grant was competitive in nature and required two or more law enforcement agencies to enter into a partnership to address violent crime in their area with an award of up to $2 million. Of the 54 collaborative applications, 40 were recently awarded for fiscal years 2024 and 2025.  Agencies utilized the grant money to purchase items such as drones, ballistic vests, body-worn cameras, and crime scene equipment. Other agencies used the funding to create new positions, providing them with additional resources such as a criminal intelligence analyst or a new investigator position. Many agencies chose to purchase upgraded radio systems, improving emergency communications across the state. The funding also allowed several agencies to send people to LEIC’s National Forensic Academy to attend the nationally recognized 10-week crime scene program. The collaborative grants included more ambitious projects such as real-time intelligence centers, allowing multiple agencies to share information and a digital forensic center in upper East Tennessee. The LEIC was given the opportunity to partner with TNOCJP to provide training and technical assistance over the three-year period of the grant. The pre-grant assistance that LEIC provided consisted primarily of technical assistance to law enforcement agencies applying for the grant. Between October 2022 and January 2023, a team of grant writers and consultants provided assistance that ranged from answering questions to writing complete grants for agencies. In all, LEIC staff members had contact with approximately 194 law enforcement agencies and wrote 28 formula grants accounting for almost $2.5 million as well as five collaborative grants for over $2 million in awards. Additionally, the team assisted on 120 formula grants and 27 collaborative grants for over $61 million in grant awards to local law enforcement agencies. Post-awards, the team has been working with TNOCJP to get some of the grants ready for executed contracts and providing technical assistance to agencies in the form of model policies and best practices for their newly acquired equipment. Additionally, LEIC will be providing free training on various violent crime topics including crime scene operations, active shooter, and criminal investigations. As part of the program, a new limited-duration training specialist will be joining LEIC in July 2023 to spearhead the violent crime training. The grant writing team consisted of LEIC Program Manager Rhiannon Jones; Lt. Danielle Lowery, Clinton Police Department; ret. Deputy Chief Brian Johnson, Nashville Police Department; Lauren Allard, Allard Consulting, LLC.; Detective Sergeant Leslie Miller, Clinton Police Department; and Sergeant Thomas Clinton, Knoxville Police Department. [...]Read more...
TLC Offers Video Interpreting to Clients
TLC Offers Video Interpreting to ClientsJune 12, 2023Video remote interpreting, or VRI, is becoming increasingly popular due to its multiple benefits. VRI allows the interpreter to interact with participants via a secure web-based platform on any device or computer. The Tennessee Language Center (TLC) offers this service to its clients, along with traditional in-person interpreting and over-the-phone interpreting. One of TLC’s clients that has utilized VRI often is The Family Center in Nashville. The Family Center provides parenting programs, coaching, and support groups to help break cycles of trauma in families. They use TLC interpreters in person during their programs scheduled during the day, but it can be challenging to find interpreters for the evening programs. Having access to VRI “allows us to open evening classes up to everybody,” explains The Family Center Coach Katelyn Goodall. “They don’t have to take off work to come to group.” More clients are exploring using VRI due to its many benefits, including: It can be more cost-effective because there are no travel expenses for the interpreter. It can be used immediately, anytime, anywhere, even on short notice if needed. It can be great for finding an interpreter of a language not frequently spoken in the area. In addition to helping with the evening schedule, The Family Center has utilized the VRI option over just telephonic interpreting because there is more interaction possible. With video, you can see face-to-face, which can help facilitate communication. VRI also allows for simultaneous interpreting, which is interpretation as the speaker is speaking. Goodall has noticed this increases the parents’ participation in answering questions and group discussions. “We couldn’t do what we do without TLC,” she says. TLC works closely with each of its clients to select the interpreter or interpreting technology that is most appropriate to meet the client’s needs. VRI’s many benefits can make it an indispensable tool. [...]Read more...
CIS Delivers Skills for Success Training for Tennessee Inmates
CIS Delivers Skills for Success Training for Tennessee InmatesJune 12, 2023Inmates in several West Tennessee correctional facilities now have skills for a productive life outside of prison, thanks in part to the UT Center for Industrial Services (CIS) and its Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership (TMEP) organization The Skills for Success – Manufacturing program was made available in Tennessee by the TMEP in January 2023 to facilitate training for people seeking employment in Tennessee’s manufacturing sector. The deployment of this Skills for Success program for justice-involved participants is funded through a grant made available through Governor Bill Lee’s Reentry Act of 2021. The act created the Office of Reentry under the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and its aim is to help those serving time in jail to lead productive lives once they are released. The Office of Reentry partnered with the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board, the Southwest Tennessee Workforce Agency and CIS to provide skills training in the Hardin County jail. In October 2022, the Northwest Tennessee Workforce Board contacted West Tennessee Solutions Consultant Andre Temple to provide 1,000 safety glasses for high school students participating in area manufacturing day events. As a result of this engagement, when they found out that they had funds to provide training to participants in the jails, they reached back out to Temple to ask if CIS could help deliver this type of training. The 10-day manufacturing training boot camp for entry-level workers included classes on workplace skills, math for manufacturing, quality tools and techniques and a 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety in general industry class. At the completion of the training, participants received a certificate from CIS, an OSHA 10-hour General Industry card and they are set up for an interview with a local manufacturing facility. The delivery of the Skills for Success training in Hardin County is actually the first of six sets of training in additional jail facilities across West Tennessee including Dyer, Obion, Madison and Henry Counties. Additional facilities in both West and East Tennessee counties are in the process of being scheduled for delivery in 2023. Hardin County Jail Administrator Ryan Burlesci said this program is a major step for those who earn a certificate as well as a benefit for the participants, their families and the entire community. CIS Health and Safety Consultant Chuck Gluck said delivering the OSHA 10 training to this set of participants was the most personally meaningful work he has performed during his 10 years with CIS. [...]Read more...
TLC Offers Online Japanese Cooking Classes in July
TLC Offers Online Japanese Cooking Classes in JulyJune 12, 2023Discover the delicious art of Japanese cuisine in a 3-class series of online classes in July. Best of all, it’s free for UT (and state) employees! Japanese Oishi Cooking Class for ADULTS (Ages 16 and above) will be held online from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Central time on July 13, July 20, and July 27. Total cost is $100 for the series. Students will learn basic vocabulary and expressions in Japanese as well as five methods of Japanese cooking while making dishes like dashi pickles, miso soup, and matcha ice cream.  Japanese Oishi Cooking Class for YOUTH (Ages 11-15) will be held online from 11-11:45 a.m. Central time on July 12, July 19, and July 26. Total cost is $75 for the series.  Students will learn basic vocabulary and expressions in Japanese while making dishes like an onigiri rice ball and characters for a Bento box. The youth class will not use a stove or oven during the class.  No previous study of Japanese language is needed for either class. Ingredients and kitchen equipment are not provided by the TLC. Students will need to purchase the ingredients in advance for each of the classes. Menus and ingredient lists will be shared ahead of class.  For more information or to register, visit tiny.utk.edu/Summer2023JapaneseClasses. Please note: Classes typically require at least three individuals paying the full fee for online (four for in-person) classes before a fee waiver student may join and classes are capped at 12 students. Classes without adequate enrollment are subject to closure or cancellation. If a class reaches capacity (12 students) and is closed to further enrollment or is canceled due to insufficient enrollment, we will notify you with alternative class options.  [...]Read more...
University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services Brings Supply Chain Support to Manufacturers
University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services Brings Supply Chain Support to ManufacturersJune 14, 2022The University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS) is introducing CONNEX™ Tennessee, a new program launching June 22, which is designed to strengthen the local and domestic manufacturing supply chain. CONNEX™ Tennessee is a powerful online manufacturer database and connectivity platform provided as a no-cost resource for Tennessee manufacturers. It’s designed to help manufacturers connect with each other, find local and domestic suppliers, explore production capabilities, and manage their supply chain such as identifying single supplier risks and finding opportunities for diversification. “The UT Center for Industrial Services is always looking for ways to help Tennessee manufacturers achieve their goals,” explains UT CIS Executive Director Paul Jennings. “We see CONNEX™ Tennessee as a great resource to help our state’s manufacturers mitigate supply chain risks, become stronger and grow.”  CONNEX™ Tennessee is also supported by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry whose President and CEO Bradley Jackson said, “For manufacturers, the pandemic demonstrated just how vulnerable supply chains are. Many manufacturers are now searching for ways to domestically or locally develop supply chains to protect their operations from additional supply chain disruptions.  We hope that Tennessee manufacturers will be a part of the CONNEX™ Tennessee program which can help solve some of these problems.” To help manufacturers develop more reliable supply chains and find alternate suppliers, the CONNEX Tennessee platform will help manufacturers identify potential suppliers within the state based on their capabilities, not just current production. Results can then be filtered using hundreds of unique criteria such as equipment, processes, materials, certifications and more to meet a manufacturer’s specific needs. In addition, disruptions to existing supply chains have resulted in shortages of materials and inputs to manufacturing processes, which is hampering the productivity and profitability of Tennessee manufacturers. CONNEX Tennessee will offer manufacturers the ability to post requests for information (RFIs) and requests for quotes (RFQs) for such items in the platform’s B2B Exchange Center to which qualified suppliers may directly respond to the post with their capabilities and availability. These platform features will help Tennessee manufacturers quickly find the materials and inputs they need to meet their productivity and profitability objectives while improving supply chain robustness for downstream manufacturers as well.  The CONNEX Marketplace technology was developed several years ago by i5 Services to connect the U.S. manufacturing supply chain. It’s now being used by manufacturers and suppliers across the country to connect with each other and find new business opportunities.  Tennessee is the seventh state to roll out the CONNEX Marketplace™ platform, joining Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan and Utah. In each state, the platform is managed by a MEP center to provide a coordinated approach to outreach and direction for users. “We are thrilled to have UT CIS and the Tennessee Chamber sponsor and support CONNEX Tennessee,” said President and CEO of i5 Services Alan Davis.. “It’s a sign of their strong leadership and commitment to the Tennessee manufacturing industry which is one of the pillars of the Tennessee economy.” Free registration for Tennessee manufacturers and suppliers will begin on June 22 when the platform officially launches. In the meantime, more information can be found at: https://www.cis.tennessee.edu/connex-tennessee/connex-tennessee-faqs  About the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services UT CIS, an agency of the UT Institute for Public Services, is a member of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network™. The MEP National Network is a unique public-private partnership that delivers comprehensive, proven solutions to U.S. manufacturers, fueling growth and advancing U.S. manufacturing. It’s focused on helping small and medium-sized manufacturers generate business results and thrive in today’s technology-driven economy. About Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry As the Tennessee affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chemistry Council, the Tennessee Chamber works today with its national and state business allies to maintain a strong, healthy business climate in Tennessee for companies to grow, to profit, to expand and to hire. About CONNEX Marketplace by i5 Services Founded in 2009, i5 Services develops solutions to significantly improve complex technical processes in various industries. They are working to connect the U.S. and global manufacturing supply chain into a single platform, which will solve many of the world’s supply chain issues. Called CONNEX Marketplace, this online platform connects manufacturers and suppliers to an accurate, searchable supply-chain database allowing Primes, OEMs and governments to post their needs and quickly find suppliers based on deep data such as equipment, certifications, capabilities and more. For more information, visit: www.ConnexMarketplace.com [...]Read more...