Tag Archives: leadership blog

Community Service Decisions

By MICHAEL SEIDEN
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24

We all have our own reasons for getting involved in community service. Some have a passion for a particular cause, such as battered women. Others may have specific expertise that they want to share with a worthy organization. Some may want to have something that looks good on a resume. Still others may want to use community service to make business contacts.  In selecting what form your public service will take, it’s important to find the right fit between the organization’s expectations and your own.

For example, take the case of joining a not-for-profit organization’s Board of Directors. Directors roles can differ greatly from board to board. Some boards are strictly focused on raising money, setting expectations for directors’ direct contributions as well as their support for fund raising efforts. Other boards may require the directors to have specific business or other types of expertise to help support the management of the organization.

Time requirements are also a factor. One must be certain of how much time the organization expects its volunteers to donate and those time requirements must fit the individual’s lifestyle. While your boss may well support your community service, you don’t want him or her asking you when you’ll be able to find time for your “real job.” There are other factors, as well. Like any other good management decision, picking the right opportunity for community services requires investigation, analysis and a well thought out decision.

What is your reason for getting involved?

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A chance to Meet Harvey Mackay

By CHRIS IRISH
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

For many, Harvey Mackay is THE leadership guru.  I’ve always enjoyed reading his books and articles.  He’s smart and realistic, two qualities that I admire.  While his leadership advice is generally geared to a business environment, many of his concepts can also be applied to community leadership.

Mackay will be in town this weekend signing his new book “Use Your Head to get your Foot in the Door”.  All royalties will go to the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation – proof that Mackay is himself a good community steward!  You can meet Mackay on Saturday, 2/27 from noon – 6 p.m., Borders at the Biltmore, 2402 E. Camelback.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

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City Government Exposed!

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the 11th of a 17 article series recapping Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month Core Program. The program educates, connects and empowers citizens who are interested in community leadership.

Class 24 embarked on another fact-filled, emotion-tickling day on February 5, 2010. City Government Day was hosted by Councilman Ron McCullagh, Class 18. He shared how the mayor and city council’s role is to approve the budget and set public policy for Scottsdale. Volunteerism plays an immense role with over 200 people in Scottsdale serving on City Boards, Commissions and committees.

Coffee with Mayor W. J. “Jim” Lane served as an espresso boosted view of how the City of Scottsdale is led. His philosophy is a business approach to City Hall and a citizen-driven government promoting efficiency, transparency and accountability.

To read the rest of Suzanne’s blog click here.

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Turtle Leadership

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the 10th of a 17 article series recapping Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month Core Program. The program educates, connects and empowers citizens who are interested in community leadership.

Class 24 participated in another exciting Leadership Academy last Friday. The Leadership Academy’s mission is to illuminate ideas, provoke thought and stimulate dialogue to help class members cultivate their own leadership style. Class 24 focused on expanded leadership teamwork through a “turtle” exercise, led by Dr. Frances Mills-Yerger, Class 16, Workshops for Youth and Families. We were put into smaller teams and our assignment was to get our whole team across a massive flowing river using turtles (don’t worry, no turtles were harmed), and navigate leadership decisions to reach the other side.

To read the rest of Suzanne’s blog click here.

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Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part 2

By TERRI RABICOFF
Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

This is the second of a multi-article series discussing the relationship of leadership and emotional intelligence.

He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise.”
Lao Tse

Leaders need to know what makes everyone tick, starting with themselves. Many leaders do not often recognize, or take into consideration, the impact their behavior has on the very people they rely on for their success. Leaders must not only hold their employees fully accountable for “what” they do, they must hold those employees accountable for “how” they perform their work.  To do this, leaders must first be ready to take a straightforward look at themselves to make sure their behaviors are in line with their organization’s stated values, and that their leadership practices are supported by strong emotional intelligence competencies (self-awareness, social awareness, self-management & relationship management). This is essential if the leader is willing to build strong, long-lasting relationships and effective leadership.

Dealing with emotionally precarious situations in the workplace can become complicated, and leaders sometimes side step issues they should confront. When these difficult situations are compounded with inadequate communication skills, the end result can become extremely volatile.  The lack of ability to control emotions and display effective communication skills can lead to unsettled conflicts, low morale and diminished productivity. Effective management of employee frustration, anger and upset is critical to employee commitment, motivation and productivity, as well as to an organization’s overall health and profitability. The need exists to help leaders learn to use their emotions in a productive manner and, if necessary, to develop the needed skills for relating well with others.

The benefits of understanding how emotional intelligence competencies contribute to fostering strong leadership qualities for individuals and organizations has far reaching implications. “According to research conducted by Wilson Learning Corporation in Eden Prairie, MN, not only is there a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and job performance, but the biggest contributor to employee satisfaction — and thus productivity — is leadership” (Caudron, 1996, ¶ 3). Organizations can be instrumental in supporting this effort by identifying cultural and leadership principles that promote leadership supported by emotional intelligence.

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Economic Development: Do or Die!

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the ninth of a 17 article series recapping Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month Core Program. The program educates, connects and empowers citizens who are interested in community leadership.

What is Economic Development; How does it happen?
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24 members tackled this question on our last Topic Day. We examined it from a local, regional and state level…it was a fascinating day.

Economic development is a complex, multi-dimensional concept. Economic development is not possible without growth but growth is possible without development. Scottsdale is an established and resource-wealthy community. We’ve had many years of strong economic development. But in these tough economic times, it is important we have a clear economic development strategy.

To read the rest of Suzanne’s blog click here.

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Scottsdale Leadership and a Vision for Scottsdale

By MICHAEL SEIDEN
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24

The City of Scottsdale is viewed differently by various people.  There are those who view it as the “Beverly Hills” of Arizona. Others relish in the old established neighborhoods that flourished under the “Western Town” image of the 50’s through the 70’s.  Hikers enjoy walking through the beauty of the desert in the McDowell Mountain Preserve while the partiers love the weekend action at the Waterfront.  Scottsdale is the venue for exciting events such as the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction, the Arabian Horse Show and the Open at the TPC.  It is the home of world class resorts, an active local airport, a budding bio-tech incubator and one of the most successful shopping centers in the country, as well as a number of massage parlors and strip clubs.  It is considered the “fifth whitest city in the U.S.” but has led the way in promoting diversity.

This is Scottsdale today but what will the City be like tomorrow?  What is our vision for the future?  Scottsdale Leadership provides the city’s future leaders with a comprehensive view of most aspects of our city; the services that are provided to our citizens, the venues used for the exciting events that provide some of the revenue for those services, the historical locations that have served as foundations for the present, the inner workings of our government.  By putting together an understanding of how all of these pieces come together, we can work with the current leadership of Scottsdale to build a vision of the future.  That vision takes the city’s core values and defines what Scottsdale will look like five or ten years from now.

While learning about the city and developing their leadership skills, members of Scottsdale Leadership Class XXIV can contribute to Scottsdale’s future by addressing the following questions:

  • What are Scottsdale’s core values?
  • If we adhere to those core values now and into the future, what will Scottsdale look like five and ten years from now?
  • What specific things can we do as committed citizens to make that vision come about?

Visions become reality through dialogue and discussion.  What better place to have this dialogue and discussion than through Scottsdale Leadership?  This dialogue is open not only to members of Class XXIV but to alumni, as well.  It’s almost a certainty that there will be diverse views and not everyone will agree.  However, by submitting your ideas to this blog, we will have a compilation of how a group of creative and committed leaders view the future of their city.

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Can you agree to disagree, while still being agreeable?

By RACHEL BROCKWAY, Class 23
Scottsdale Leadership Marketing & Resource Development Manager

Last weekend’s newspaper article by Stephen Covey caught my eye. It was titled 7 highly effective ways to help Americans get along. You’ve probably heard of Stephen Covey, but did you know that he is America’s top leadership expert? The article discusses the 7 ways to come together as a community. As we go about our daily lives we sometimes forget the small things that make us effective leaders. To make a difference in our community and set a good example for future generations we need to stop and reflect on what actually makes people come together.

The article discusses seven ideas, but my take away from this article is to try something new. We all must broaden our horizons and continue to grow and learn. If we never try anything new, how are we able to know that anything else exists? Covey states: “if you don’t do something that you’ve never done before your worldview will be too limited to inspire real change.”

To read the full article by Stephen Covey click here.

After the article Covey includes a self quiz to see how good you are at getting along,

I scored a 45, can you beat my score?

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Are you ready to lead Scottsdale?

By CHRIS IRISH
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

One of the most impactful ways you can move our community forward is by serving on the City Council.  While the November 2010 election may seem far away, decisions to run for office in Scottsdale are being made now.  Serving on the Council is a huge commitment but commitment is a word that Scottsdale Leadership graduates know and do well.

Currently, one Scottsdale City Councilmember is a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership www.scottsdaleaz.gov/council/ron_mccullagh.asp. Many, many more of our alumni have the ability to serve in this role. Might you be one of them?

City council candidate packets can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office and are available online: www.scottsdaleaz.gov/elections. The packet contains a checklist that identifies the documents and forms that must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. May 26, 2010.

Running for public office is a daunting task. But as John F. Kennedy said, “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Is it time for you to take action?

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Impact of Scottsdale Leadership

By JACKY BURKE
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24

I am a member of Scottsdale Leadership Class 24, so a “newbie” to the experience of being a part of this organization. Being in the nine-month Core Program has already made a difference to me. Even receiving my acceptance letter made an impact. All of the people who agree to participate in Scottsdale Leadership, in my opinion, make a promise to become a leader in our communities, be it on a large or small scale. Scottsdale Leadership’s founders and alumni, which include mayors, city managers, large business owners, Chief of Police, etc, have chosen me, through the selection committee as their proxy, to be one to make a difference. In fact, I believe that all the citizens of Scottsdale, in effect, trust the Scottsdale Leadership selection committee to help develop some of their future leaders. That being said, I take my commitment very seriously.

My acceptance into the Core Program gave me more faith in myself.  It made me realize there has been something inside that wanted me to make a difference, but didn’t know how to start. I turned to Scottsdale Leadership for guidance and teaching. I want to make a tangible difference in the world, even if it is on a local scale, something clearly shown where I made an impact and improved the lives of other people in a meaningful way. One place I started was with my own businesses. Scottsdale Leadership gave me the confidence to hire my first employee. I felt that in this economy, I would love to give someone a job, someone who deserved it and could use it more than me. I had enough work to go around, so I went for it.

Scottsdale Leadership has helped me understand the many needs in our community. I’ve been consistently donating to our local food bank and participated in the Adopt-a-Family program with fellow classmates.

At one of our recent class days, Chris Irish, executive director of Scottsdale Leadership, announced open positions on Commissions for the City of Scottsdale. I decided to pick the best one for me and apply. I don’t know if I will get the appointment, but at least I am learning about ways that exist to make a difference.

I hope that I can do it! I’ll take the advice of some of the great speakers we have had in class, who have made huge differences in the City of Scottsdale. They told us to start small and just take it from there. You never know where it will take you, as they hadn’t known themselves, but you never know unless you try.

Thanks to the entirety of Scottsdale Leadership, for the faith you have placed in me, and I hope to exceed your expectations!

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