From the Expert
Are You a Leader?
By Krista Rinehart, CSG Toll Fellows Program Director
Throughout history, when America has needed leadership most—the Civil War, the Great Depression, world wars—the right leaders have risen to the challenge.
As these United States face another great economic challenge, it might well be leaders on the state level that must rise to the occasion and solve our problems. It was with state leadership challenges like this in mind, that The Council of State Governments started the Henry Toll Fellowship Program in 1986. Over the past 25 years, Toll Fellows has met its challenge of preparing state officials to step up and lead when their states have needed strong direction.
The tradition of excellence in leadership development training continues this year as the 2011 Toll Fellows Program will be held Sept. 9-14 in Lexington, Ky. Applications are available now and must be submitted by Feb. 25.
“The Toll Fellows Program is the absolute best program of any kind in which I have had the pleasure of participating,” said Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman, Class of 2009. “It was educational, informative and an overall outstanding experience.”
Ninety-nine percent of Toll Fellows have rated the program as the best of its kind. The Toll Fellows Program has been able to help prepare future speakers, chief justices, governors and congressional members because it is a carefully crafted, weeklong experience that breaks down walls and forces participants to examine themselves in order to embrace their full leadership potential.
In addition to providing an agenda designed to help participants become better acquainted with their inner leadership style and ability, Toll Fellows is the only program in the nation that brings state officials from all three branches together from across the country. The uniqueness of this multi-branch class composition provides an energy that can’t be matched, while allowing participants to see things from a new perspective.
“Toll Fellows is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from members of all three branches of government,” said Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. Class of 2004. “As a judicial member, the experience was especially worthwhile. Tolls left me energized—one of the most worthwhile experiences of my life!”
In addition, the networking opportunities offered by Toll Fellows provide valuable connections that last long after participants return to their home states.
“I’ve attended many conferences, workshops and trainings during my professional career,” said former Arkansas Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Chad Gallagher, Toll Class of 2006. “The Toll Fellowship program is the absolute best …. hands down! Toll Fellows provides practical guidance and big picture tools that help create a fresh look at your framework for service. It also provided introduction to peer relationships that have endured politics and time. The program does all of this in an environment that somehow removes partisanship, regionalism and the many differences that too often separate public servants.”
Each year, 40 of the nation’s most promising state officials are selected for this highly competitive program. All program-related expenses are covered—participants are responsible only for their travel. Don’t wait another day – commit to becoming a better leader and public servant – apply for the 2011 Toll Fellows Program today! Applications are due Feb. 25. For additional information or assistance with the application process, contact Krista Rinehart at firstname.lastname@example.org or