Grooming NSBE’s New Leaders

By Njema J. Frazier, Ph.D., NSBE National Leadership Institute Chair

The Programs Zone


On June 8, 2011, approximately 300 NSBE collegiate and alumni leaders, staff members, advisors, and corporate and government partners will convene in New London, Ct. There, they will continue the tradition of leadership that has taken NSBE from its beginnings on the campus of Purdue University to its nearly 400 chapters all across the nation and abroad, representing a membership of more than 35,000 collegiate, technical professional and pre-collegiate members.

The National Leadership Conference (NLC) is NSBE’s premier training program for national and regional officers. This flagship program is a cornerstone of the National Leadership Institute (NLI): a year-round program that provides participants with functional, leadership and skills training.

The 2011 conference will take a staged approach: first familiarizing the leaders with their individual roles and responsibilities, then introducing tools needed to be effective leaders and team members within their NSBE zones and finally, presenting key skills required in the professional world to overcome challenges, keep pace and sustain a competitive advantage in the work force. By the end of the four-day conference, regional and national leaders will have been exposed to workshops on positional duties, Board confidentiality, communications, program development and metrics, leading leaders, project management do’s and don’ts, and strategic planning.

These workshops will be conducted by NSBE leaders, World Headquarters staff, experienced advisors, and corporate and government representatives.

NLC will prepare NSBE leaders for their responsibilities individually and collectively, and ultimately will provide them with the tools to excel in their professional fields. The goals are:

  • Functional Training – to increase participants’ understanding of how to perform their roles effectively throughout the year.

  • Strategic Thinking – to improve participants’ ability to see the big picture and take a broader, longer-range business perspective.

  • Active Management – to have participants learn to be more effective change catalysts and champions of change; to have them learn to implement and sustain change within NSBE; to promote a truly student-run model.

  • Board Effectiveness – to have participants build from their individual roles out through the zone to the full board and work with other leaders toward common goals and in service to the membership.

  • Executive Leadership Skills – to develop skills and knowledge used in professional and executive settings.

These goals will be reinforced throughout the year through the National Leadership Institute. NLI encompasses the National Leadership Conference, six Regional Leadership Conferences, leadership enhancement activities, recruitment and succession activities, training, reading, and workshops through the year for all members.

The 2011 NLC, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, promises to be a signature event and a model for future leadership conferences at the national, regional and local levels. On behalf of our members, we thank the Coast Guard Academy for its three-year commitment. This support will give NSBE the opportunity and resources to grow our national leadership effort into one that serves our entire membership, strengthens the student-run model, develops strong professional leaders and supports the sustainable advantage of the Society.