Executive Director's Corner

Dave Wills

Dave Wills

Let ACCG Educate You

WE HAVE all heard the question asked, “Are leaders made or born?” Notwithstanding volu- minous research conducted by psychologists, behavioral scientists and others in at tempts to answer the question, and not withstanding our own thoughts, wherever they lie on the continuum between the two terminal points of belief, one thing is clear: Everyone, whether a natural leader or not, can benefit from leadership training and education. Those who already possess innate or well-developed leadership skills can still improve, and those who lack the same can benefit from engaging in training and education designed to teach elements of leadership skills.

ACCG has for decades recognized the importance of providing training and education to county commissioners and other elected and appointed county officials. As a result of this sustained focus, ACCG now offers through its Lifelong Learning Academy a Core Certification and Specialty Certification. The Core is comprised of eight classes, plus the Leadership Institute. Specialty Certification is available in eight tracks, requiring 48 hours of credit in each one to become certified.

ACCG also offers in each even numbered year the Newly Elected Commissioners Conference, attendance at which is required by Georgia law for commissioners who are newly elected. Comprising not less than 18 hours of education and training, this element represents an initial opporunity for most commissioners to engage with their peers statewide, while becoming knowledgeable about ACCG and the host of benefits it makes available to counties and their officials. ACCG’s education and training calendar for 2018 included training opportunities on dates in January in Macon-Bibb County, March in Tift County, April in Chatham County, June in DeKalb County, July and September in Union County, and October in Glynn County, plus the Newly Elected Commissioners Conference in December in Athens-Clarke County. In total, with 56 classes and two rounds of Leadership Institute taught in areas dispersed around the state, during multiple months, ample opportunity was provided for participation.

Involvement with ACCG also offers opportunities for commissioners to exhibit and exercise leadership at the statewide level, through service on committees which develop legislative policy, by attending meetings at the Capitol, making visits to Washington, D.C., etc. And while the size of the Board is limited pursuant to the bylaws of the organization, various commissioners serve on the ACCG Board of Managers, while others serve on subsidiary boards governing the various insurance and retirement services programs operated by ACCG.

In addition to the opportunities described, participation in the ACCG programs invariably produces peer-to-peer exchanges, frequently between newly elected commissioners and those with much more experience, which enhance learning and development of leadership skills. And while it might seem that “birds of a feather (would) flock together,” we at ACCG have long recognized that commissioners enjoy and benefit from exchanges between officials from very disparate counties. Together, the formalized programs offered and the peer-to-peer exchanges represent an unparalleled, ongoing opportunity to enhance one’s leadership skills.

Whether you are now serving your first term in office, or have been in office for many terms, whether you already possess extraordinary leadership skills and abilities, or whether you need to build such skills, ACCG has your ticket. As you continue in public service, dedicating your time, abilities, talents, and skills to the betterment of your county and those you represent, I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities provided by ACCG to improve upon and to demonstrate your leadership skills in 2019. It is an investment which will return dividends to your county and our state for years to come.