Tag Archives: Leadership

Leadership Emerging

Cundiff_Nicole NEW

By Nicole Cundiff
Colleen’s Dream Foundation

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

Last week we put a bow on our Scottsdale Leadership experience. Our last class was filled with an in-depth look into not just our nine-month journey, but more importantly, into our future.

We began our day with a series of questions that required quite a bit of self-reflection.  We had to fill in the blank of various “I am” questions: “I am most resilient, hopeful and strong when I am __________.” These are questions that I wouldn’t normally evaluate, but I enjoyed taking the time to discover how I feel when I am at my best. This incredible exercise offered a deep look into our core values and challenged us to make life choices that directly or indirectly result in feeling resilient, hopeful and strong on a daily basis. We then used these values to help create a vision for our future.  We were tasked with writing letters to ourselves describing who we will be and what we will accomplish in a year from now. I loved this exercise because I am a big believer a manifestation.

When we open our letters in a year, I am excited to see how my life aligns with the vision I created last week. As a busy mom of three kids, I am work, yet fail, every day to create balance. I don’t want to miss any of their special moments, yet I have big dreams of my own. How do I achieve both? Well, the answer lies with defining my core values, making decisions that directly align with those values and setting the intention to make a difference. Sounds pretty easy, right? Probably not for someone like me, but I am up to the task and will let you know whether I was able to find balance next year.

What I found to be most powerful about the day was the push to get involved in the community and/or Scottsdale Leadership. From learning about what it means to be on a nonprofit board to speed-dating ways to get involved with Scottsdale Leadership, we were challenged to recognize the various needs in our community and to have the confidence to make it better. We have been blessed with an amazing experience and now we need to do something with it. We can’t just sit around and wait for someone to act on our behalf, but we have to be the change we want to see.

To round out the day, we had an amazing speaker discuss his leadership role in fighting for the legalization of marijuana after seeing the significant medical impact it has made in his daughter’s life. We were all in tears with his story and inspired by the action he has taken on her behalf. This is exactly the type of leader our world needs more of. We need to be bold, take risks, and most importantly, act!

Scottsdale Leadership has been a phenomenal experience. I have meet amazing people and learned quite a bit about myself and all of the amazing gems and resources that Scottsdale has to offer. I am sad to say goodbye to this experience and all my new friends, but I am so excited to see what everyone chooses to do with their experience!

Thank you to Margaret, Emily, Lindsay and so many others for making this such a meaningful year. You are making a huge impact in our community through this program and I am excited to utilize the tools you so graciously bestowed upon us.

Farewell, friends!

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How do you find your leadership passion?

Arizona LeadershipBy 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.

Did you ever do something out of obligation?  Or for a paycheck?  Or only because someone asked you to?  But…your heart really wasn’t in it?  If your answer is “yes”, as mine was, I bet you were not as effective as you would have been if your heart and soul were “all in!”

Through the Scottsdale Leadership journey, I’ve been exposed to a lot of community issues and needs.  The wide ranges of well-deserving people and causes have actually begun to overwhelm me…Until Leadership Academy day!

The panel discussion moderated by Ted Taylor, Family Promise, changed everything for me.  Ted led our class through a discussion that focused on finding a cause that we believe in—he asked us, “What cause is of meaning to you?”

Then Pam Gaber, Gabriel’s Angels, reminded us of the saying, “When you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”  Now it’s time to queue the music of one of my favorite songs by Jason Mraz, Everything is Sound, which includes a line “…you don’t need a vacation when there’s nothing to escape from…”  Now, that’s pure wisdom in my book!

But wait…there’s more from Pam.  The next thing she said was something magical.  She said finding your passion depends on who you are on the inside.  When you hear about “it”—there’s a fire in your belly.  When you read about “it” and for 15 minutes the world stopped…you know you’ve found your passion.

Hallelujah!

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I know I am passionate about camping, hiking and cooking!  So much so, that I started a blog about “it” www.CampingForFoodies.com.  But—how do I turn my personal passion into a leadership passion which will benefit the community?  Just like Pam did with Gabriel’s Angels!  Pam loved her animals so much that she was willing to share them with others to improve their lives.  The Gabriel’s Angels mission: To deliver healing pet therapy to at-risk children, nurturing their emotional development and enhancing the quality of their lives forever.

What I realized is the power of taking your passion and sharing it with others in unique and creative ways is far more effective and meaningful than just assisting with a demonstrated need with which you have no personal or emotional attachment.  With my passion I can teach kids how to appreciate nature, eat healthily, exercise in fun ways respecting and learning about the environment, budget for trips, build confidence cooking delicious meals, learn photography and appreciate the art form.  And…so…much…more!

Many of us are blessed with an abundance of time, talent and treasure.  Fewer of us are willing to share our gifts with others.  The best return on God’s investment in us happens when we give our gifts away.  You will increase your enjoyment of your passion by experiencing others experiencing your passion.  So, don’t be afraid to let go because, just like a boomerang, your passion will come flying back to you.

Share this if you are jazzed about sharing your passion!

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Scottsdale Loses Leader

By CHRIS IRISH
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

Tall, lanky and dressed in western wear, Councilman Tony Nelssen made an impression every time he entered a room.  His slow smile and wry sense of humor complimented his look.  Yesterday, Nelssen lost his battle to cancer and Scottsdale lost a strong leader.

Nelssen’s first term on the city council began in 2006. He was running for re-election this year.   Nelssen’s love for the equestrian lifestyle and view of Scottsdale as “The West’s Most Western Town” provided much of his motivation to lead.

A native of Arizona, Nelssen was a smart man who paved his path to political office by actively participating in community affairs.  His stewardship included service on both the planning and the parks and recreation commissions.  He was a vocal advocate for preserving our desert.

I worked with Councilman Nelssen in two capacities. The first is in my role as executive director of Scottsdale Leadership and second, as a member of the Scottsdale Public Art Advisory Board.  In all instances, I experienced Nelssen as a respectful, approachable and honest person.  Nelssen enjoyed sharing his knowledge and views with Scottsdale Leadership class members who were eager to begin making their own mark on the community.  He was proud and supportive of the accomplishments and highly-respected reputation of the Scottsdale Public Art program.

Nelssen’s leadership required huge personal sacrifice. He gave countless hours preparing for council meetings, talking with citizens and attending events throughout Scottsdale.

His death leads me to ask, how can each of us do more?

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A Fond Farewell to Carolyn Allen

By JEFF WINKLER, Class 22
Member, Scottsdale Leadership Board of Directors

On the occasion of the retirement of Senator Carolyn Allen, a graduate of Scottsdale Leadership Class I, I would like to offer some reflections on her service to Scottsdale and the state.

Senator Allen is, if nothing else, a person of strong convictions; and, an equally strong commitment to honoring those convictions with her vote and her leadership on the issues of the day. At a time when politics in Arizona and nationally is becoming increasingly rancorous and partisan, Senator Allen stands as an example of a political leader who is willing to work across the aisle and let the merits of an issue determine her support.

Throughout her long career, Senator Allen was a leader on many issues, including; healthcare, economic development, support for public education, the arts and state trust land reform. Her style of leadership never varied; get the facts, assemble a coalition and stick to your guns. As she is fond of saying about her adversaries over the years, “They might not like me, but they respect me.” This leadership style served the citizens of Scottsdale well.  In my periodic conversations with her over these last years, Senator Allen never failed to draw the conversation on any issue back to what her constituents thought on the issue. Senator Allen took the constituent outreach and service part of her job very seriously. She always had her finger on the pulse of what was happening in Scottsdale. This allowed her to be an effective advocate for those that she served.

As Senator Allen departs the political stage, one can only hope that there will be others who step up and put partisanship aside to work for what’s best for all Arizonans. The problems that we are facing as a state are huge and don’t lend themselves to a highly political and partisan solution. We will need leaders from all sides of the debate to work together for the benefit of all. Those that step up to lead next would be well served to emulate the career of Senator Allen as we face the challenges of tomorrow together.

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Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part 4

By TERRI RABICOFF
Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

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

Organizations continually face the challenge of finding their next generation of leaders. According to an article published in the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA), “Identifying leaders is not about simply reviewing a performance appraisal and making a selection based upon what the individual knows or does not know about getting the job done. Just because someone excels in a functionally specialized role – say, as an accountant or a computer programmer – does not guarantee that he or she has the qualities to effectively lead an organization from an enterprise-wide perspective” (2004).

The ability of organizations to improve performance through emotional intelligence (EI) adds to their bottom line and shareholder value by hiring and retaining a higher caliber of employees, reduced turnover, employee satisfaction and financial results.  Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee (2001) examined the question of what drives an organization’s bottom line performance and determined that EI was a major factor in successful leadership.

Over the past 10-12 years there has been the development of several multi-rater or 360-degree surveys that have been designed to measure emotional intelligence in the workplace. Many of these are based on a model of emotional intelligence called the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI).  These surveys and raters have been useful in providing feedback on (a) someone’s individual strengths and weaknesses compared to others in the same organization or in a similar role, and (b) they also provide feedback on the gaps or discrepancies between a person’s self-perceptions and how they are rated or perceived by others.  These feedback systems are great for enhancing self-knowledge, leading to improved leadership behaviors, effectiveness and performance.

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Scottsdale Leadership Call for Entry – Logo Competition

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

Scottsdale Leadership, Inc., a nonprofit leadership development program serving Scottsdale and the surrounding community is launching a competition for a new logo. Scottsdale Leadership’s mission is to strengthen the community by developing, training, and empowering dedicated leaders through education, skill development, mentoring, and community trusteeship.

The competition is open to design artists and students over 18 years of age. The winner will have the opportunity to be named the official logo designer for Scottsdale Leadership. The logo will be used online, in print, electronically, on merchandise, in press releases, advertisements, invitations, programs and much more.

Scottsdale Leadership is looking for the logo to symbolize and represent its mission and core values. The logo should suggest the principles of community leadership, volunteerism and partnership and be contemporary, attractive, recognizable and memorable for various audiences – mass media and the general public. Logo design must contain the color red and be transferable to black and white. There will be one grand prize award of $500; $150 when logo is selected and $350 when final revisions are complete.

The contest is now open via 99designs.

In addition, if anyone from community would like to submit a logo via email we would love to take a look. Please see the attachment for specifics on the design. Submit to Rachel Brockway at rbrockway@scottsdaleleadership.org– LOGO COMPETITION in subject line. If you have questions, contact Scottsdale Leadership at rbrockway@scottsdaleleadership.org.

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Teamwork, great projects make us want to dance

By ROBERT LEGER, Class 21
Opinions editor of the Scottsdale Republic and Phoenix Republic

The tune was current, one all the elementary school children recognized as they ate lunch. They started dancing. A few minutes later, the youngsters were joined by silver-haired women who quickly learned the shuffle.

It was one of those “aha moments.” No one had planned this. It just happened, giving the people who put together this day of sharing between young and old all the affirmation they needed. Two generations connected.

Feel-good movies tell us one person can make a difference. But what can happen when seven talented, motivated people get behind an idea? Scottsdale Leadership has an answer, and it is amazing.

To read the rest of Robert’s blog on the Arizona Republic’s website click here.

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Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part 3

By TERRI RABICOFF
Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

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

It is important to understand that emotional intelligence (EI) is not a contradiction of cognitive (IQ intelligence), or even a conflict of head over heart, but a distinctive intersection of both – head working with heart. When you look at EI without cognitive intelligence, or cognitive intelligence without EI, you only get part of the solution, creating a gap in human abilities that lies between head and heart – more technically stated, between cognition and emotion. EI competencies involve a certain amount of skill sets in the emotional domain, coupled with skill sets in the necessary cognitive domain of that ability. By incorporating emotions with intelligence, you add the human flair that would otherwise be missing.

While technical skills and acquired knowledge are important, especially in an individual’s early career development path, scaling to the higher rungs of the career ladder calls for the exceptional ability to manage and lead people. Based on research, individuals that possess high EI competencies not only know how to understand themselves and keep their emotions in check, they demonstrate an ability to understand and recognize the value of other’s perspectives.

Research indicates that a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ) and training account for 20 percent or less of the differentiation between a star performer and an ordinary employee.  The remaining 80 percent more or less is attributed to EI. Due to the enormous impact EI can have on leadership success, findings may necessitate a change in the methods organizations use to train and develop leaders; and in turn, the way leaders train and develop their followers.

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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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