Cultivating Community Leaders with EIL

Excellence in Leadership (EIL) is an intensive, core piece of our leadership training at Interstates. We encourage our leaders to go through this multi-session training and have graduated 29 classes since 2003. In 2020 a similar leadership program was made available to the community. Thanks to one passionate leader at Interstates, she helped plan and execute this two-day event for non-profits in the Sioux Center area. 

A Glimpse of EIL 

EIL for Non-Profits is a leadership program for non-profit leaders to develop their leadership skills. In a small group setting, we share leadership strategies, tools, and resources ultimately to serve their teams and organizations better. One participant found some practical steps to grow their team, "[EIL] helped me understand the value of allowing others to 'take the reigns' to improve the organization. By delegating work to my teammates, they became more invested, took more responsibility, and grew my team." 

Leaders engaged in a variety of sessions to gain leadership essentials, communication skills, and individual growth. Some of these sessions included sessions like leadership vs. management, understanding their personality, giving feedback, and psychological safety. Shari Kastein, Executive Director of the Family Crisis Center, commented on one of the sessions. "The most challenging session was the crucial conversations. That was probably the most effective thing that I was able to take back to my organization and team."  

Proudly Serving the Community 

Offering this to area non-profit organizations is part of the Interstates core and why statements, making a difference with our clients and communities. It's a way for non-profit leaders to grow and reach their potential. Lisa Johnson, IT Systems Analyst at Interstates and a coordinator for the event felt a sense of responsibility to give back to her community. "It's a privilege to invest in non-profit leaders and provide the Interstates Family an opportunity to improve their skills in developing others." Not only does this program help the attendees grow, but also those doing the training. 

Many of the attendees were grateful for the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and grow as leaders. Daniel Den Boer, Director of ATLAS Orange City Area, shared his experience of the program. "When you're a non-profit working toward a mission, you tend to put so much into the mission that you never take a step back to think about leadership and growing as a leader. In my experience, when [a leader grows], the entire organization benefits from it." We want them to walk away with practical applications to take back to their organization. 

Those involved are excited for the opportunity to serve the community and the future of the program. Johnson adds, "'We're happy to be investing in our non-profit leaders as their organizations go on to produce an even larger impact on our communities." 

If you're interested in the next EIL for Non-Profits session, be sure to watch for the next time we accept applications. 


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