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 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.
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!