By Kim Hanna, Class 27
Economic Vitality, City of Scottsdale
The Class 27 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community. Scottsdale Leadership is an Arizona Leadership Program.
At the beginning it seemed like such a long road. But now—the fabulous 9-month journey with Scottsdale Leadership is over. Yikes—NOW WHAT?
This rich experience was not intended to only expose me to a bunch of issues in the community. It’s about engaging in the community to make it a better place into future generations!
On our final class day, Suzanne Paetzer—our Core Program Chair—reminded us of a T.S. Eliot quote, “To make an end is to make a beginning.” THAT’S WHAT! It’s time to make a beginning!
Then came Eileen Rogers who said, “Most of us don’t know what we want—but we’re pretty darn sure we don’t have it!” Isn’t that the truth?!?
The answer: Life By Design, Not By Default! Eileen led us through an exercise that rocked my world! She gave us a list of “life topics” and asked us to circle all of the items that are important in our lives today. I circled 19 items. Then she asked us to eliminate all but the top 12…Ouch! I began feeling guilty about the items I crossed off of my list. Then she said we needed to further reduce to 7. Was she kidding?!?
It was about this time in the day that I began talking to myself. I had to tell myself, “This is just an exercise…I’m sure I’ll learn something from it. Calm down!” So, I did.
It wasn’t over—we had to rank the list in order of importance and grade our performance. My heart sank…I really didn’t want to face the music but the band kept playing. All of the things I claim as important are also the things I seem to be getting around to when I have a free moment.
“TIME FOR A CHANGE,” I said to myself. By this time my self-talk was in surround sound with full-on subwoofer!
But there’s more! Courtney Klein Johnson shared the heart-warming story of the Stuttering King Bakery—way to go Matt Cottle! Courtney gave us a menu from the bakery which included another nudge for me. A quote from Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them.”
Throughout this 9-month experience speakers told us the key to successful leadership is service through passion. If you start with your passion, things feel right—you’ll know when you are there.
I’ve decided to take those words to heart. I have been passionate for a long time about camping, hiking and cooking. I’ve decided to use my blog www.CampingForFoodies.com as a platform from which to launch my community stewardship adventure. I have tons of ideas and am thrilled to get started! I know each and every one of my classmates will be doing the same with their individual passions.
To the Magnificent 27 and our wonderful leader—Suzanne—Thank You for a truly life-changing experience! See you on the edge!