Public Service Leadership Course
Polk Vision’s Public Service Leadership Course is designed to carry forward the legacy and outstanding tradition of civic, public, and non-profit leadership that has made Polk County a distinctive, prosperous, and vibrant community. This course was created for leaders interested in learning more about ways to impact public policy and how to enhance their effectiveness as engaged citizens. Class members will be equipped with the knowledge to advance to a deeper level of public service that may include civic, public or nonprofit leadership or serving on government boards and commissions.
The course is free of fee to qualified participants and includes four full-day sessions held at various locations across Polk County on the following dates:
- February 23, 2024
- March 8, 2024
- March 22, 2024
- April 5, 2024
Participants must be residents of Polk County and have an interest in advancing their service to the community.
Participants must commit to being fully available to attend all four of the day-long sessions. Those unable to make this commitment should apply in a future year.
Course content has been specifically developed to encourage discussion and enable participants to effectively integrate leadership strategies into their unique situations. In order to showcase the size and diversity of our county, each course date will take place in a different municipality:
FEBRUARY 23: DEFINE YOUR DIFFERENCE (Winter Haven)
Objective: Preparing leaders with the strategic tools to define their differences, discover options for how they can serve and address the personal, professional, and sometimes political obstacles that could stand in their way.
MARCH 8: COMMUNICATE YOUR DIFFERENCE (Davenport)
Objective: Turning a great idea into a great difference often depends on how well the leader can communicate a vision for change that motivates and mobilizes others. This session will focus on the foundational principles for how leaders can elevate their experience and expertise, effectively communicate the difference they want to make and build their personal brand to boost their credibility in order to influence and lead others.
MARCH 22: POLK LEADERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE (Bartow)
Objective: Educating participants by welcoming civic, public and non-profit leaders to share on the most pressing community and public challenges, issues, and opportunities facing Polk County.
APRIL 5: IMPLEMENTING YOUR DIFFERENCE (Lakeland)
Objective: Positioning leaders to refine and prepare to implement engagement plans with specific goals and objectives, including how to build teams and define short and long-term objectives, and to step up to the starting line of their leadership opportunity ready to realize results.
Class Size and Composition
Class size is limited, and participants will be selected in a highly competitive, essay-based application. A balanced mix of class members that reflect Polk County’s diversity is important to the effectiveness of the program and will influence the selection process.
Application Timeline and Critical Dates
- Applications Open: December 5, 2023
- Applications Close: January 15, 2024 / 5:00pm
- Applications Reviewed: January 16 – 26, 2024
Note: Applicants may be contacted for additional information
- Class Members Finalized: January 29, 2024
- Applicants notified and information packets distributed.
Polk Vision’s Public Service Leadership Course requires that:
- Applicants be a current resident of Polk County.
- Applicants are not currently serving in an elected position or running for office.
- Applicants complete an online application which includes:
- Completion of several short essay questions
- Submitting optional (but strongly encouraged) supplemental information at the end of your application:
- your resume
- up to two letters of recommendation (no more than 2 will be reviewed)
Applications for the 2024 PSLC will be available December 5, 2023 with an application deadline of January 15, 2024.
Meet our Facilitator: Mark R. Mills
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE PUBLIC SERVICE LEADERSHIP COURSE AND WHY SHOULD LEADERS PARTICIPATE?
Polk Vision’s Public Service Leadership Course, a free four-session leadership engagement program, is designed to carry forward the legacy and outstanding tradition of civic, public, and non-profit leadership that has made Polk County a distinctive, prosperous, and vibrant community.
WHAT SPECIFICALLY WILL PARTICIPANTS LEARN?
Through lessons from leadership experts and current Polk County leaders, small-group exercises and confidential one-on-one coaching, aspiring leaders will discover proven, practical and personalized preparation and positioning strategies for how they can elevate their real-world experience in order to accelerate the difference they can make in civic, nonprofit or public leadership without wasting their time or talent.
Aspiring leaders will be equipped to: define their unique difference and explore where they can best make it; overcome common personal, professional and political hurdles to engagement; elevate their public visibility and credibility in order to impact, influence and inspire change and engage with a network of proponents who can open doors; realize results more quickly with an engagement plan to start strong, lead and succeed.
WHAT IS THE COST TO PARTICIPATE?
Each participant will receive a 100% scholarship thanks to the generous support of the program’s investors.
WHAT IS THE REQUIREMENT FOR PARTICIPATION?
Interested leaders must apply by January 15 through the link at the bottom of this page. A competitive selection process will ensure a limited class size and individual attention. The class selection will be announced January 29. The program will meet on February 23, March 8, March 22 and April 5, 2024 from 9:00a – 4:00p with breaks throughout each session. Participants must commit to being fully available to attend all four day-long sessions. Applicants must be current residents of Polk County and not currently serving in an elected position or running for office. Prior participation in a Polk Vision leadership program is not required.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PUBLIC SERVICE LEADERSHIP COURSE AND THE LEADERSHIP POLK PROGRAM?
Though both programs go through a selective application process, their content will be very different from one another. The Leadership Polk program consists of countywide tours that build awareness on the county at-large including hidden gems, challenges and opportunities that are faced throughout the different municipalities that make up Polk County.
The Public Service Leadership Course (PSLC), though hosted in different locations throughout the county, will be located at one site per class day and dig deep into the course curriculum, facilitated by Mark Mills for the majority of the program. The content is designed for leaders interested in learning more about ways to impact public policy and how to enhance their effectiveness as engaged citizens. PSLC creates an opportunity to be better equipped for elected and appointed office candidacy for those potentially interested in pursuing future positions of service.
WHERE CAN LEADERS FIND MORE INFORMATION?
Learn more at Public Service Leadership Series Application (jotform.com).