Leadership Includes ‘Giving Back’
One day while marching across the desert with his thirsty army, Alexander the Great was approached by a soldier who knelt on the ground and offered him a helmet full of water.
“Is there enough water for 10,000 thousand men?” Alexander inquired.
The soldier apologetically shook his head – whereupon Alexander poured the water on the ground.
This story or legend about Alexander exemplifies great leadership.
Of course, there are many definitions of leadership. My favorite is “one who is willing to serve – to give back.” This definition exemplifies voluntary leadership in a not-for-profit association such as AAPG.
Each year AAPG invites many of its most active members and staff to meet at AAPG Leadership Days.
This year we met in mid-August in Tulsa at the Post Oak Lodge. Over 100 AAPG leaders attended the meeting plus a number of representatives for AAPG’s sister societies.
The meeting is multi-purpose with opportunities for inspiration, training, introspection and for consideration of the future of our profession.
For inspiration this year we had two extraordinary speakers – Steve Inbusch with CIBC World Markets, who gave us a look at the “Unconventional Future from an Investor’s Perspective,” and AAPG member and former NASA astronaut Jim Reilly talked about “Exploring New Frontiers.”
Both gave us the opportunity to look beyond the present and examine our future.
This year’s Leadership Days’ focus was on “science.” AAPG’s overarching strategic goal is to provide the best geoscience to our members, profession and the general public.
To that end we held several breakout sessions:
- The Quest for Ideas.
- 21st Century Publishing.
- Future Education.
- Do Rocks Matter?
- 21st Century Digits.
The first session was a key discussion on accessing the best research; it is critical to the health of the organization to search for and promote good research. In particular, these group members discussed ways to promote research at universities. AAPG is about to embark on a major fundraising effort to develop research funds through a new program called PetroGrant.
Sessions two and four were designed to analyze the future of AAPG publishing – especially digital publications. Discussions ranged from developing the best publications to the best ways to disseminate the information.
AAPG members and the general public are increasingly accessing AAPG information via the Web and other digital formats. GIS – Geographic Information Systems – will be used more in the future to distribute AAPG data.
The future of AAPG professional development or “education” was discussed in session three. AAPG evaluates its programs every few years, and this year the decision was made to either divest or build up AAPG’s education program. After consideration, AAPG has decided to develop a new education directorate to expand its educational offerings. This is key to building our professional development program worldwide through AAPG’s global offices.
Group five participants discussed the state of the art in integration of rock data with logs, maps, seismic, etc. Rock training is increasingly important to understand reservoirs in 3-D seismic analysis, and AAPG is trying to establish itself as a facilitator and broker of rock education through field trips, field camps, etc.
Another group was focused on the needs of students. This session was developed by AAPG student members, who offered many ideas on improved communication and relationship building.
One of the most important student recommendations was a discussion on the best methods to involve students in AAPG’s committees.
Perhaps the most important purpose of Leaderships Days is networking among members, sister society representatives and staff. This is a valuable aspect of AAPG’s continued success.
If you would like more information about what happened at this year’s Leadership Days, the notes are located on AAPG’s Web page.
If you would like to be involved in AAPG leadership opportunities, just let us know.
We have enough water for at least 30,000 members.