Iowa HOBY Leadership Seminar

June 9-11, 2017

Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

Our purpose is to teach you how to think, not what to think. Each year, Iowa HOBY hosts an annual leadership seminar designed to prepare our country’s high school sophomores to become effective, ethical leaders in their home, schools, workplace and community. HOBY Ambassadors are selected from each of Iowa’s public and private high schools each fall.

HOBY’s vision is “To motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership.” Through a network of more than 4,000 volunteers nationwide, HOBY is able to provide lifelong leadership development opportunities that empower individuals to achieve their highest potential.

Iowa HOBY is celebrating more than 30 years of leadership seminars across the state and the accomplishments of more than 5,000 Iowa high school sophomores who have participated in the program since our first seminar in 1967. The 2017 Iowa HOBY Leadership Seminar will be held June 9-11, 2017 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

For more information about the 2017 Iowa HOBY Leadership Seminar, including the Ambassador selection process, how to get involved as a volunteer, or to make a financial contribution, contact the Iowa HOBY Co-Leadership Seminar Chairs,  Allison Poss and Brock Holman

Interactive Panel Format

The dominant learning vehicle used at HOBY Seminars is the small group discussion sessions with peers. At each session, three to four panelists with divergent viewpoints are chosen to emphasize the critical thinking component of leadership: HOW TO THINK, NOT WHAT TO THINK.

Leadership Training

  • Introspective opportunities to think about yourself as a leader.
  • Modeling or demonstration of leadership by the panelists and keynote speakers.
  • Practice leadership competencies.
  • Sessions with specific leadership themes.
  • Leadership games and simulation activities.

The actual teaching of leadership skills are components of HOBY’s Leadership Seminars.

Seminar Themes

Undoubtedly, the future poses numerous circumstances for which strong, ethical leadership will be essential. Therefore, during the seminar, HOBY requires that all U.S. Leadership Seminars present the following five specific themes: 

  • Democratic system and entrepreneurship. A basic understanding of profit, competition and the democratic process that provides citizens with incentives – economic and otherwise.
  • Education. Education is indispensable to the quality of our society. It is basic to our country’s infrastructure and to the ability of many communities to attract business and industry. Education will dictate how well we shall compete globally in the future.
  • Leadership for service. Volunteerism has always been a part of the HOBY experience. Service to others is essential in becoming an effective leader. It promotes community involvement and provides a better understanding of the communities around us.
  • Media/communications. Modern media undeniably impacts our daily lives, be it at home, work or in the economy. Recent advances in the way people communicate represent nothing less than a technological revolution.
  • Future of our society. This topic covers questions and answers that will impact the lives of HOBY Ambassadors, as well as those of family, business communities, and the country. This session focuses on issues which could be major contributors to the future success of our society.

Fun Activities

Although most of the weekend will consist of seminar sessions, there will also be an opportunity to socialize and meet new people.

Life with HOBY Session

You will learn about HOBY Alumni clubs and chapters. There are varied opportunities for volunteer services in the community and continuing education opportunities available to HOBY participants.

Positive Outcomes

  • Improve critical thinking skills. By presenting multiple viewpoints on important issues, HOBY encourages the HOBY Ambassador to evaluate all issues from a critical perspective.
  • Enhance leadership skills. HOBY’s question-and-answer format, small group discussions, hands-on service learning experiences, and assumption of leadership roles will enable HOBY Ambassadors to better understand leadership and begin to identify their own particular leadership strengths. Sessions with specific leadership themes, keynote speakers, and leadership simulation games and exercises complement their individual understanding.
  • Better understanding of the democratic process. Discussions on democracy, free enterprise, volunteerism and community service are facilitated during the HOBY seminar.
  • Developing goal-setting skills. All aspects of the HOBY Leadership Seminar are geared to encourage the HOBY Ambassador to see leadership as a life-goal worth pursuing. At the conclusion of the HOBY Seminar, the HOBY Ambassador will be encouraged to identify personal goals and make a commitment to achieve one or more within the six months that follow.
  • Realizing the importance of leadership. As part of our commitment to the Presidents’ Summit For America’s Future, HOBY Ambassadors are challenged to complete a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer service, annually. HOBY’s Leadership For Service Program encourages young adults to give back through community service.