Report on the Leadership Development Conference [LIVE]

On this side of the country and in our part of local section, 2010 LDC is a great deal. I am planning to blog about this event on and off for the next couple of days - rather may 'tweet' if time does not permit. Yeap, I will keep my fellow chemical engineers updated.

The East TN local section has worked hard for last 9 months to put this show up and the curtain unveils Today. The official show is going to start this evening with a keynote speech by Mr. Brian Ferguson. Brian is the Chairman of American Chemistry Council and Executive chairman of the Board of Eastman Chemical Company and former CEO of Eastman Chemical Company. We are lucky to have him here.

When we were brainstorming about the talks for this leadership conference, we started with asking ourselves what leadership really means. We realized, as you would have, there are many facets of leadership.

Brian Ferguson

While some define it as "Selling your dreams to finding the right follower", which we will be discussing in further details this Sunday during the breakoutsessions; others refer to leadership as "the act of embracing change and innovation", which will be touched upon on Saturday morning. Volunteer leadership, such as the leadership in AIChE, provides additional challenges especially because the self-motivation for these volunteers lies within innate traits--beyond any tangibles. And we don't want to burn our volunteers out. Additionally, globalization and the "flat world" have increased our responsibility to communicate better and more effectively. Even after all this homework, history has shown us repeatedly that a true leader emerges during crises. We will be touching upon all these aspects of leadership in the next two days in LDC.

We have more than 100 participants and guests registered for this conference and they are looking around to pick some tools and looking for ways to define leadership in the next couple of days. I must say that I personally found comfort in the definition provided by the Professor and the management guru, C.P. Prahalad, who is no longer with us. He says,

"Leadership is about self-awareness, recognizing your failings and developing modesty, humility and humanity."

With this inspirational quote in mind, I begin my search for the source of leadership along with the fellow participants! I'll keep you posted.

photo courtesy of:


Paul Fanning's picture

Great LDC, even if I say so myself -- I'm the East Tennessee Local Section Chair. Many thanks to Noah McMillan and RC Ramaswamy, the LDC Co-Chairs, for a job well done! Now, let's make sure everyone returns to his or her destination safety!

Paul Fanning's picture

...make sure everyone returns to his or her destination safely!!!

Linda H. Bergeron's picture

I just back home from the LDC and have to say that it was a really great experience. I am the New Orleans Section Chair and plan to pass along lots of the information I got from this Conference. It was run very professionally, with so many good speakers, and with such variety, and the accomodations were so nice. RC and Noah did a fantastic job, as well as the many others from the East Tennessee Section who also worked on this Conference. It was well worth attending, and I hope to put what I learned to use for my Section and at work. Sincerely, Linda H. Bergeron, P.E.

Drew Dawson's picture

Excellent LDC. Thanks to everyone who set this up and all of the speakers. It was a very enriching experience and I learned quite a bit.