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Home >> L.E.A.D. Athens >> Opening Credits: Mission & History  
Opening Credits: Mission & History



The mission of L.E.A.D. Athens is to develop effective leaders committed to building a vibrant community.  The vision of L.E.A.D. Athens is to become the premier program inspiring leaders to exceed both their individual and collective potential.


Through Leadership, Education, Awareness and Development, participants are heavily immersed in community issues including but not limited to economic development, health and human services, education and local and state government.  Team building, problem solving and decision making are also part of the program which yields a class of leaders ready to LEAD Athens.




Leadership and L.E.A.D. Athens has a dynamic history of promoting and fostering leadership in our community. The program, begun in 1982, was founded on the Pillars of Leadership established by University of Georgia Vice President and Professor Emeritus J. W. Fanning, also known as the "father of leadership."


These pillars include:

  • custody of values
  • willingness to listen and hear
  • ability to articulate the heartfelt concerns and desire of people
  • dispensing hope
  • foresightedness
  • knowledge with common sense
  • integrity of character
  • courage to think and act anew
  • sharing of oneself
  • motivating people to act

Keeping these principles in mind, the Leadership Athens program was revamped in 2002 and renamed L.E.A.D. Athens (Leadership, Awareness, Education, Development). Through a series of innovative and interactive monthly sessions held throughout the year, L.E.A.D. Athens seeks to create an experience that will cultivate an understanding of leadership and a call to action in each participant.


With nearly 800 alumni, Leadership Athens and L.E.A.D. Athens graduates continue to serve the community as leaders in business and industry, public office, education, and non-profit organizations.

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