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Holdman advocates for leaders’ need to plan

Huntington, Ind.-On May 28, the Huntington University Center for Leadership sponsored a leadership luncheon featuring Travis Holdman, a licensed attorney, Indiana senator and bank consultant. His presentation was titled "The Leader's Edge."

His presentation was divided into two major parts: strategic planning and steps to effective planning. The first segment focused on the importance of earning the right to lead and the importance of planning because "Failing to plan is a plan to fail."

"The key to great planning is focus," said Holdman. "A key aspect of leadership is knowing where you want to go before asking others to follow you."

Holdman went on to discuss the timeline of the life of any business, organization, project or relationship. Using Charles Handy's adaptation of the Sigmoid Curve, Holdman pointed out how a business, for example, begins at its inception, continues on through growth, reaches maturity, then declines and ultimately perishes. But Holdman also explained how to anticipate these changes and "thrive on chaos."

The second segment of the luncheon focused on putting plans into action and how "the degree of change determines the need for advanced planning."

He told his audience to ask themselves these questions: Why do we exist? What are we trying to accomplish? What should be our business focus? What should set us apart? Who is our target audience? Who are our actual users? These questions were intended to be answered as honestly and realistically as possible because, as Holdman said, "A plan for the future based on an unrealistic view of the present will lead to disaster."

The presentation went on to discuss how to ask the right questions concerning a company, identifying any possible problems along the way and evaluating the results of planning.

This event was part of a series of luncheons offered on the fourth Thursday of every month.

The Huntington University Center for Leadership has developed over the last year and has now found a home on the university's campus in the EXCEL Adult Degree Programs office. Under the direction of Dr. Rick Upchurch, director of the EXCEL program, the CFL provides leadership training and resources to businesses, community leaders and pastors in northern Indiana.