In her book, “Becoming the Red Sock in the Laundry Basket—Simple Strategies to Everyday Leadership,” author Laura Emberton Owens says leaders are much like a red sock, rubbing off on others even when no one expect it.
Owens, a former Kentucky official, businesswoman, and motivational speaker, shared her simple strategy for effective leadership with about 40 participants at a free leadership seminar on July 19 at the Small, Rural, Tribal and Border Regional Center (SRTB-RC) facility in Hazard.
The leadership seminar was presented by The Center for Rural Development, a nonprofit economical development organization based in Somerset, and funded through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
Owens outlined four critical elements for what she considers essential toward becoming a highly effective leader: image, attitude, teamwork, and communication.
“Leadership is all about making choices,” Owens said. “Whether through calculated strategies or unintentional actions, true leaders impact those around them.”
Owens’ own leadership skills were honed during 30 years of involvement in workforce training, education, and government. Before forming her own company, Advancement Strategies LLC, she served as Kentucky’s secretary of education and was former state commissioner for Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment. In her role as commissioner, she was responsible for a department of 2,300 employees and a budget of nearly $1 billion dollars.
She also received appointments from former Governors Paul Patton and Ernie Fletcher and served on a White House commission at the invitations of former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
Prior to her work in Frankfort, Owens also served as a teacher, published writer, TV host, and elected city official.
This is the second leadership seminar The Center presented this summer to community leaders in its 42-county primary service area in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In June, Owens spoke to nearly 200 participants at The Center in Somerset. The response was so great The Center decided to offer a second seminar at its host agency, SRTB-RC, in Hazard.
The SRTB-RC, hosted by The Center, serves as a resource and outreach center for the National Institute of Justice, publicizing its programs and services to small, rural, tribal and border agencies across the country.
For more information about The Center, its programs, and services, call 606-677-6000.