Kickoff of the WorkBoat Strategic Leadership Development Program is wrapping up today on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. Our own WorkBoat Professional Series, working in conjunction with LSU Executive Education, conducted the three-day launch to the year-long executive training program aimed at individuals in the mid- to upper-tier levels of maritime industry organizations.

The opening lectures by LSU’s faculty and executive coaches were first rate, keeping the participants engaged throughout. Expectations were high and the LSU Executive Education team scored early and often. Lectures on leadership, crucial communications, and negotiations/managing conflict highlighted the first day. The second day featured regulations, employee relations, strategic planning and “coaching” sessions. Day three tackled topics such as emotional intelligence, the language of business, business financials, and management across organizations.

The men and women who are participating in the program come from all over the U.S. and overseas. They are to be congratulated for taking on the challenge this program offers them. It will be a rigorous one. But with the LSU Executive Education team leading them, what they will learn over the next 12 months will serve them and their companies well throughout their careers.

Speaking of kickoffs, at the end of the first day, the participants were given a tour of LSU's football facilities at Tiger Stadium. I tagged along. We saw things most people will never see such as the trophy room and locker room. We got to walk through the tunnel where the players run onto the field, and we spent time on the field itself. For me, it was like a kid at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Great stuff.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.