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Developing new leaders is vital to our union 

October 2014

Fall has arrived and schools are hitting their stride across the state. CSEA is running full speed ahead on many of our important priorities. We’ve just completed two important leadership training sessions; one for our active leaders and one for our retired leaders. Developing the next generations of leaders is vital. This is one of my primary goals during my tenure as your president. Our young workers group has been appointed and have begun meeting. I am so inspired by their engagement as they begin the process to provide a special training for our young workers in April. These trainings will pay dividends for many years to come. 

In reviewing a recent article in Forbes magazine, I came across this definition of leadership. “Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, toward the achievement of a goal. Leadership stems from social influence, not authority or power. Leadership requires others. There are no leaders if there are no followers, and followers don’t need to be “direct reports.” There is no mention of a single personality trait, attribute, or even a title. There are many styles and many paths to effective leadership.” Good leadership includes a goal, not just influence with no intended outcome. Lastly, what makes this definition so different from many of the academic definitions out there is the inclusion of the phrase “maximizes the efforts.”

The November elections are knocking on our door and we must be involved. This issue has important information to help you be an educated voter. I cannot stress enough the importance of telling your fellow members, friends, families and neighbors how important it is that we re-elect Tom Torlakson as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. It is equally important to classified employees that we elect John Chiang as Treasurer and Betty Yee as state Controller. They both will sit on the CalPERS Board of Administration and we need them to join Rob Feckner and I as we work to continue to protect your pensions. We also have many, many important races up and down the state, including school board races in our own communities. You will continue to hear from CSEA regarding these important races in multiple ways, and we will have a wide variety of activities that you can join in on. But the bottom line is we must all get out and vote. 

Veterans Day is November 11. We can never do enough to thank the brave men and women who serve our country in the armed forces, but this is one way we can call attention to the service many of our members perform before becoming classified employees, as well as those actively serving while employed. I know you’ll find the articles as intriguing as I do. I’m honored to call these fine men and women brothers and sisters in our union. 

I’d like to share a quote with the leaders who built and continue to build the union, to the veterans who kept us safe from harm and forever free, and all of you the voters who take care of putting friends of education in office. So allow me to share the wisdom of the Dalai Lama who I believe spoke this to all of us—“You are the people who are shaping a better world.” Please never forget the role you play in our students’ lives. I thank you all for everything you do.

In strength and unity,
Michael Bilbrey, Association President



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Michael Bilbrey

Association President Michael Bilbrey