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SIM Leadership Spotlight September 2015

"Leadership Spotlight" includes interviews with Chapter Presidents, SIM Board members, Management Council members and other SIM leaders.  "Leadership Spotlight" will not only highlight SIM’s leadership and chapters,  but it will offer insight from our leaders on topics, treads and issues facing the Society, our chapters and the IT industry.


 An archive of interviews will be found HERE.

September 2015
Name: June Drewry
SIM Role: SIM RLF Director

This month’s Leadership Spotlight features SIM member and RLF Director June Drewry.


1. What are your leadership roles within SIM?

Currently, I am one of three Directors of the RLF program.  I am in charge of finances and admin services, as well as the Management Council representative.  I am also a Facilitator for the Southeast forum, held in St Petersburg, Florida.  This year we have 32 participants in the SE forum, half of them from Florida.  In the past, I served SIM as chapter president (2 different chapters, over the years) and two terms as President of SIM.  I am also a member of the Central Florida Chapter.

2. Provide an overview of the programs/chapters you are involved in.
The Regional Leadership Forum program is over 20 years old.  It started small, with the purpose of developing leadership capabilities for members of SIM and their staff.  It has grown to encompass 10 locations, graduating nearly 300 people this year.  While the RLF team works continually to keep up with the times, changing as the environment changes, they have maintained the core elements which consistently result in reigniting a thirst for continuous learning, helping participants sharpen their emotional intelligence and develop their authentic leadership style.  The program is often described as "life changing".  The current hectic business environment offers little time for personal reflection.  RLF gives participants the gift of time, in an environment built to foster leadership growth.

3. What are the latest trends in leadership development and how does the RLF differ from other leadership programs?
If you look at SIM's latest survey listing the top 10 skills for CIO success, nearly all of the top 10 are items we touch on in RLF.  Leadership was the top skill listed.  People management / relationships, oral communications, collaboration with others / teamwork, emotional intelligence, honesty / credibility, and change management (developing and using influence power in RLF) are all topics we cover and practice.  I don't think the basics of leadership change much, but emphasis shifts as the environment changes.  So now what were once considered "soft skills" have become necessary "hard skills" for anyone in a leadership role.

The leadership programs we encounter do not really fit as true competitors to our program:

  • Some are short spurts (1-5 days programs), sometimes focused on one of the topics we cover. 
  • Many are more focused on hard skills and are more aptly classed as management development, not leadership development.  CIO boot camps fall into this category.  There is nothing wrong with these programs, they just do not adequately cover the skills the SIM survey lists as the top 10 skills for the success of a CIO.
  • Some so called leadership programs are simply local networking groups.  Again, not a bad thing, just not a true competitor.

RLF is a unique program in that RLF has six two-day sessions held over 9-10 months, giving participants time to learn, try, practice, and ultimately change.  And this nearly year long program costs about the same as many of the single focused programs in the marketplace.

4. Is the RLF currently facing any challenges.  If so, what are they and how will the RLF overcome them?
Getting the word out and opening new doors is always a challenge.  Once a sponsor sends someone through RLF and sees the payback to their company, they return year after year.  But opening new doors is a challenge.  This is where chapters can help.  In my current chapter, Central Florida, some of the scholarship money has been dedicated each year to helping a member attend RLF. The chapter sees this as a way to develop their own leaders.  In the Northeast, chapters put together a team to recruit each year, again a way of developing their own leaders and providing benefits to the members by introducing them to this unique effective program.  We also employ some sales staff to help market the program in areas where we believe the market far exceeds our current sponsorship.

5. What is one piece of advise you would give someone considering a leadership development program. 
If you care about developing capabilities that are necessary to accomplish anything today, attend RLF.  If you want to develop your team members, send them to RLF.  If you are not yet comfortable with what RLF does, visit a session and see for yourself.  Everyone is welcome to visit.


An archive of interviews will be found HERE.


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