Flom Leadership Course Series

The Flom Leadership Course Series application window is now closed. A limited number of applicants will be selected to participate in the inaugural program. Registration for the entire program will be $195 due at the time of acceptance.

The Academy’s leadership program is being expanded in 2021-22 to provide additional content and to encourage engagement with emerging leaders in our profession. Every optometrist is a leader, whether it is leading their staff, associates, students, the community, or the profession. This new and innovative series will be available exclusively to Fellows and Candidates for Fellowship.

This eight module online virtual leadership course – kicking off with a live course during Academy 2021 Boston and culminating with a celebratory event during Academy 2022 San Diego – will be presented by several of the most highly respected leaders in the profession. Individuals who complete this course will receive a certificate of completion and will be considered for leadership roles within the American Academy of Optometry.

The Flom Leadership Course Series begins on Wednesday, November 3 from 1 to 4 PM EST during Academy 2021 Boston, presented by Drs. Lindsay Sicks, Darin Paulson, and Carmen Barnhardt.

The primary component of the program will be a series of eight online virtual modules – provided approximately every five weeks – which will address the following topics considered integral to becoming an effective leader:

  • Principles of Effective Leadership I – January 6, 2022: to include personality traits of effective leaders, service, and ethics in leadership. Module Coordinator: Dr. Mika Moy
  • Principles of Effective Leadership II – February 3, 2022: to include effective team-building, developing a shared vision, and motivating people to adhere to this vision. Module Coordinator: Dr. Sally Dillehay; Co-Instructor: Dr. Imran Khan
  • Embracing Diversity in Leadership – March 10, 2022: to include the importance of diversity in our profession, diversity awareness and sensitivity, and inclusion and integration. Module Coordinator: Dr. Ruth Shoge; Co-Instructors: Drs. Joy Harewood and Janette Pepper.
  • Effective Communication in Leadership – April 21, 2022: to include verbal and non-verbal communication, conflict resolution, and handling crucial conversations. Module Coordinator: Dr. Ed Bennett; Co-Instructor: Dr. Linda Casser
  • Leader’s Guide to Productive Meetings – June 9, 2022: to include: preparation for an effective meeting (real and virtual), facilitating a productive discussion, ensuring contributions from all diverse perspectives, and summarizing conclusions and defining action items. Module Coordinator: Dr. Rick Weisbarth; Co-Instructor: Dr. Muriel Schornack.
  • Public Speaking for Leaders – July 14, 2022: to include how to prepare a talk, addressing various audiences, audience engagement, and use of new modes of presentation. Module Coordinator: Dr. Kyle Cheatham.
  • Writing Skills for Leaders – August 18, 2022: to include the importance of written communication, writing opportunities for optometric leaders, personal and professional benefits of writing, and types of writing (i.e., peer-reviewed, non-peer-reviewed, case reports, letters of recommendation). Module Coordinator: Dr. Jeff Walline.
  • Mentorship – September 15, 2022: Present and Future Leaders: to include the importance of mentorship, responsibilities of both mentors and mentees, and opportunities for leadership development in the Academy. Module Coordinator: Dr. Tom Quinn.

Each module will be 1.5 hours long and will be offered twice during the dates listed above – 7:30 pm ET and 9:30 pm ET. Participants will be required to attend a minimum of 6 out of the 8 modules, live. Attendance to the live kick off course in Boston is also required.

Speakers will include Drs. Ed Bennett, Linda Casser, Kyle Cheatham, Sally Dillehay, Mika Moy, Tom Quinn, Muriel Schornack, Ruth Shoge, Jeff Walline, and Rick Weisbarth, who will be joined by a number of co-instructors and contributing faculty for the interactive small group emphasis of these sessions.

All of these virtual modules will be preceded by independent learning (i.e., podcasts, pre-recorded lectures, reading materials and possibly assignments). The virtual module itself will be predominantly small group interactive sessions which will include several additional contributing faculty members. At the conclusion of the live virtual session, participants will develop an action plan to apply principles explored in the module to some aspect of their professional or personal lives.  They will be encouraged to record their experience in a journal.

The final capstone celebration at the completion of the entire course will be held at the 2022 Annual Meeting which would include a keynote presentation (COPE-approved) followed by both recognition of the graduates and the opportunity to interact with AAO Committee and Section leaders. The Flom Leadership Task Force will be dedicated to following up with the graduates of the program to assist them in obtaining leadership positions.