What is Leadership Carteret?

In less than a month, the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce will conclude this year’s Leadership Carteret program. As well-known as it is, our staff constantly fields questions about it, and what the course entails. To describe it, we must first take a look at the name.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

lead·​er·​ship | \ ˈlē-dər-ˌship  \

Definition of leadership

1: the office or position of a leader

recently assumed the leadership of the company

2: capacity to lead

a politician who lacks leadership

3: the act or an instance of leading

leadership molds individuals into a team

— Harold Koontz & Cyril O’Donnell


the party leadership

The definition of leadership is multifaceted, and therefore has several definitions. Likewise, being a leader in Carteret County can take on many different forms. The ten-week course allows 35 current and up-and-coming leaders from the area to meet decision makers, business owners, local government representatives, nonprofits and more as they travel throughout the county. Participants get an in depth look at all of Carteret County and MCAS Cherry Point, which is the largest employer of residents, despite not being within our boundaries. The opportunity for these up close and personal tours allows each class member the opportunity to better appreciate the area and increases their passion to make it a better place to live and work.

Each week, the class takes various behind-the-scenes tours and hears from a wide variety of speakers. Since 2018, the class has had a weekly speaker who focuses on leadership, which Chamber staff and the steering committee felt was a key component of the course that was previously lacking. Through these speakers, the class is able to see different viewpoints on leadership, and how that may look for them personally and in their workplaces.

Leadership Carteret also introduces the class to a host of new contacts, which they will be able to rely on for years to come. The class members themselves come from a wide variety of workplaces, and they become a close knit group throughout the course. They are also given information for the speakers each day, as well as various area businesses and organizations that sponsor breakfast and lunch each class day.

Finally, an important piece of the course is the community service projects. The class is divided into five teams, and they all take on a different service project throughout the county. Not only does this introduce them to nonprofits they may not have heard of before or interacted with, but oftentimes the members will continue to support these nonprofits with their time, money, and other resources long after the class concludes. After all, being a leader should not be limited to the office.

Leadership Carteret runs each Wednesday starting in January, and concludes in mid-March with a graduation ceremony. If you are interested in learning more about the program or you would like to be on the wait list for a 2021 application, email Anna Smith, Program Manager, at anna@nccoastchamber.com or call 252-726-6350.

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