CEO Message for 2012
President & CEO, Myra Goodman Smith
The Evolution of Leaders!
Happy New Year! As I look back over the past year, I am reminded of our great region and the compassion and commitment of its community leaders. As I continue to ponder, I am also reminded of a statement that troubles me. Quite a few people have said to me, "we have an absence of leaders, a void in community leadership." I believe the individuals whom share this sentiment are looking for leadership through "antiquated lenses", which are often designed to seek out the "one." The idea of one leader at the top of the heap, with everyone else below, is no longer the formula for communities or that of our region in 2012 and beyond.
If we are waiting for one or two people to rise up and be the leaders that set strategy and solve key community and regional problems, our wait will be a long one. Those seeking the "one" must adjust their lenses to see the "many" who are taking responsibility for our community, our region. These leaders, of which I speak, are zealous and organized around key regional issues such as transportation, housing, education and economic development - just to name a few. Each issue requires a troupe of knowledgeable and cooperative community leaders - from all walks of life - to make an impact.
There are many of you who are involved in partnerships, coalitions and collaborations throughout the Richmond region. Through these effective groups, your leadership is apparent; you have a seat at the table. Often times, we don't hear about your collaborative leadership or your individual successes, for that matter. However, we must remember that it is not about one, but many - it is not about us, but others.
Again, our issues in this great region are too complex for us to look to one or two individuals for solutions. Working together as servant leaders, in a collaborative manner, is the formula for the future. Our success depends upon those sitting at the table and their abilities to work in this environment. Dr. Tom Wolff states in his book, The Power of Collaborative Solutions, that a successful collaborative leader "has the ability to share power; is flexible; can see the big picture; is trustworthy and possesses patience, abundant energy and hope." Those leaders exist right here in our region and LMR is committed to making sure our collaborative leaders have the tools to be successful. I believe that there is not a void in community leadership in our region; it's simply time to get an updated pair of glasses. Cheers to 2012 - The Evolution of Leaders.