Leadership Investment and Involvement by Jim Johnson

If you attended last week’s First Fridays Fort Wayne event featuring John Urbahns, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., you heard about so many exciting things that are happening in and around Fort Wayne.  John challenged us all to get involved – to support local growth initiatives and events and with our time, talent and treasures.

I could not agree more!  I run into many people who desire to become more influential leaders in our community.  They don’t so much as say this, but it is clear what they want.  As I engage them in a conversation, I realize that while they want to be influential, they have put little effort into two arenas that are, in my opinion, prerequisites of being recognized as an influential leadership.

Investment & Involvement

If any leader wants to to become better, she/he must take intentional steps to invest in their own development.  This investment can take the form of reading, listening to blogs, and/or attending seminars and conferences focusing on leadership development (like First Fridays events).  Executive coaches are also a viable investment for many today.  Your growth as a leader will not happen automatically.  You must work for it.

Which brings us to involvement.  NE Indiana is a great place to live, work, worship, and to raise kids.  As John Urbahns reminded us, Fort Wayne is getting national recognition for our real estate market.  We’ve even been called “cool” by a food/wine website!  We’ve got great sports teams – Mad Ants, Komets, TinCaps.

We’ve got an incredible arts community with our own Fort Wayne Philharmonic and venues such as the Clyde Theatre.  And have you seen the creative murals popping up?

We are surrounded by great restaurants and coffee houses.  There are farmer’s markets in our communities.  From famous coney dogs to award-winning farm-to-fork restaurants, NE Indiana can satisfy any taste and appetite.

Entrepreneurs are rising up and finding innovated places to work and collaborate and grow whether it’s at the downtown Atrium or getting sage advice from the NIIC.  NE Indiana is growing and we are attracting new businesses to join our growth.  The NE Indiana Regional Partnership is doing great work at spotlighting, inviting, and growing our region’s economy.

So how involved are you?  

“Hey, I know about all of this, Jim!” Great.  Are you participating?  Are you involved?

Communities become stronger and better when citizens attend events, shop local, cheer on the home team and roll up their sleeves to get involved.  Leaders set the pace and the tone – we lead in this.

My encouragement to you today is to experience NE Indiana like never before.  Attend festivals with your family.  Invite a neighbor family to go with you.  Get out to a local game.  Volunteer at your church or at the many non-profit organizations here in NE Indiana who passionately serve others.  Support the arts.  Help out at your kid’s school.

Get involved.

Step up and lead by example.  We need great corporate citizens at every level.  And we will always need a lot of them.

Be one of them!

leaderful

Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. – Our September 6 Focus

Who is Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.?

gfw-logo“Greater Fort Wayne Inc. is the single point of contact for economic growth and business services in Fort Wayne – Allen County, Indiana.

We focus on supporting local businessattracting new business, and improving our community’s quality of place to grow jobs, wages, and the economy.

Our Value Statement

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. values the thoughts and contributions of all people and understand that inclusion is critical to sustainable economic development. It is through our diverse culture that we can attract the best employees, empower our customers, and help our communities achieve great things.”

For many of us, we have worked, lived, and connected in the Fort Wayne area for years and yet we know just a little about what our local chamber does day in and day out for our community.

John Urbahns head shotSeason 3 is kicking off with John Urbahns, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.  If you want the full story of what GFW does to help our area grow and prosper, then join us on September 6 to hear directly from John.

For those of us who attended this year’s GFW Annual Meeting, we celebrated all the great things GFW has worked on and saw the goals of what is to come.  As a leader in the greater Fort Wayne community, you need to become aware of the fabulous resources and advocates we have here in GFW.

Join First Fridays Fort Wayne on September 6 to get your “front row seat” to our future.  It will be a valuable time investment.

 

Remember:  First Fridays Fort Wayne has moved its location to the Kachmann Auditorium on the campus of Lutheran Hospital (for directions, click here).

We start at 8:00 am and will wrap up at 9:00 am.

Register for this free event at eventbrite.com:

September 6 Registration

Lunch with a Leader – Alex Etchison

Jim and I (Jere) have been blessed with the success of First Fridays here in Fort Wayne where people from the area are continuing to reach out to us weekly to find out more about what we do and also to connect us with others who could possibly speak in the future.  Today’s lunch was such a meeting.

Alex EtchisonWe met Alex Etchison for lunch at Logan’s Steakhouse at Jefferson Pointe.  Alex, former high school standout football player at Homestead, wanted to see how First Friday’s connects in the community.  Jim introduced him to the “First Fridays Way” of how we vet and select our speakers, but I was more impressed with how Alex listened intently as my brother explained our process.

Alex represents his company in such a professional manner.  He was genuinely curious about us and First Fridays.  He asked great questions and was a keen listener.  He is an engaging conversationalist – a rarity these days.  He was confident and courteous.  He spoke with passion about his company and the good they are doing for so many!

As we enjoyed lunch and small talk about football, family, and future connections, Alex was genuinely interested in learning more about what we do with First Fridays.  We landed on a future opportunity where we could connect, but I left more impressed with Alex personally.  He is a young leader that will do great things throughout his work career and as a former coach; he possesses all the qualities to be an excellent football coach one day as well.

Leaders, like Alex, are what make Fort Wayne better.  You can connect with Alex on LinkedIn.

Submitted by Jere Johnson