Three Strategies for Strong Leadership

September 21, 2017
ASCE leaders compare notes at the 2017 Presidents and Governors Forum. PHOTO: Leader Training Committee

Kwame Agyare knows a thing or two about leadership.

The incoming Region 9 Director has served in numerous leadership positions for ASCE – Phoenix Branch president, Region 9 governor, and Region 9 Raise the Bar Committee Chair, to name only a few.

So Agyare, P.E., M.ASCE, was well qualified to talk about effective leadership to incoming ASCE Section and Branch leaders at this week’s 2017 Presidents and Governors Forum.

Here are three strategies he shared, with some guidance specific to Section/Branch leadership:



1. Be organized

“Ensure that you have a complete slate of volunteer officers who are energized and motivated toward accomplishing your team’s goals for the year. Also, ensure that there are sufficient mechanisms in place to update the website, calendars, and file storage systems, and that there are sufficient personnel in place to conduct all the regular activities.”

2. Plan ahead

“There could be many events or activities that might take many months to prepare for, such as the yearly awards banquet, so ensure that you have adequate team resources for all the objectives and goals that you want to accomplish during the year.”

3. Be bold

“Don’t just do what the previous president did the past year. Take on the idea of coming up with new programs or projects. Trust yourself. You’re president for a reason.”

The PGF welcomed nearly 100 ASCE leaders from around the world. PHOTO: Leader Training Committee

The PGF welcomed nearly 100 ASCE leaders from around the world. PHOTO: Leader Training Committee

Sponsored by ASCE’s Leader Training Committee, the Presidents and Governors Forum gathered nearly 100 Society leaders to ASCE’s northern Virginia headquarters for two days of workshops and presentations, addressing topics including “An Introduction to Your Presidency and How to Utilize Your Governors,” “Utilizing Life Members,” and “Using Social Media In Your Section and Branch.”

This year the PGF also welcomed four international Section and Group leaders, representing Sri Lanka, Israel, India, and Nigeria.

“This weekend has been great,” said George Kalkowsky, EI, A.M.ASCE, incoming president of the Syracuse Section. “All these people are super motivated. They’re incredibly intelligent, offering a lot of insights into things I’m seeing at my Section. And they have different problems I can share my experience with to help. The things I’ve been thinking about this weekend – all the things I want to do – it’s really nice. It kind of helps clear your head.”

Agyare, in addition to presenting during the PGF, was in Reston for the ASCE Leader Orientation as well. As the incoming Region 9 director, he will be joining the Board of Direction next month at the quarterly meeting in New Orleans, held in conjunction with the ASCE 2017 Convention.

“Coming here to ASCE HQ in Reston, it’s a really great boost,” Agyare said. “I have a passion for the grassroots. I’m very passionate about the work the geographic units do – the energy, the enthusiasm, the diversity there. I think that’s the bedrock of the profession.”

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