Hello and welcome to the first official blog post of the 2024 Summer Leadership Program!  

The first day of SLP has been a long time coming, and I couldn’t be happier to finally see months of planning and dedication come to life, and – of course – our eager participants.

As the participants  began to file in they were treated to Black and Brew breakfast with coffee as we provided them a brief overview of the day.

At 8:00 a.m. sharp, Mayor Bill Mutz kicked off SLP with a presentation on how to be an honorable employee and overall just an honorable person. My favorite part was his emphasis on service and having an eagerness to help those around you. 

After Mayor Mutz spoke, we introduced Randall LaBranche with TeamTraining Unlimited. To start, Randall took the group through a series of games to not only build their chemistry, but to teach them the values of communication, leadership, and networking. 

Following these games, Randall took them through an egg launching experiment. The teams were given a short amount of time to create and “market” their rocket to the other groups. The rockets held each team’s egg and were launched with a goal to deliver your egg safely back to the ground. Teams not only had to design and build a rocket, they also had to market it, therefore each group had to delegate tasks to play to their member’s strengths. 

After the launch, the participants came back for a brief lunch while Randall explained to them their next activity: a Downtown Lakeland scavenger hunt. Participants took pictures, collected, and even danced to every letter of the alphabet. To finish, Randall went over scores and also provided a brief summary of the day and key takeaways. 

As Randall left, we welcomed Natalie Jones, a Human Resources Professional at Publix. Jones shared her story and the importance of having your dreams “written” or mapped out. She had participants create their own vision boards, which will be used for a personal branding activity next week. What I enjoyed most was how she talked about the importance of physically mapping out your goals and how doing so makes you more successful in achieving them. 

After a brief overview of the day, we wrapped up Week 1 of SLP. It was a great day of team-building, networking opportunities, fun, and most importantly insight from a few of our community leaders. 

Afterwards, participants were given the opportunity to visit Swan Brewing for our first SLP social of the year. 

Next week we will learn more about leadership within the workplace and how to grow your roots where you are!

Thanks for reading!

  • Carter Sandman (SLP Intern)