Tag Archives: learning to lead

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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Who was Frances Young?

By MELISSA RZEPPA, Class 23
Partner & PR Director – Serendipit Consulting

For nearly a half century, Scottsdale resident Frances Young mentored, advised, assisted and championed numerous local organizations and causes – simply for the good of the community. Among her admirers she was fondly known as “the mayor of South Scottsdale”.

Young epitomized warmth, caring and concern for people of diverse backgrounds. She embraced all people and advocated for their quality of life, whether Yaqui, Hispanic, Asian, Black or White. Her notable contributions include the establishment of an English as a Second Language program in the schools, the beginning of Indian Education, Head Start and Title I programs, and the establishment of the Vista del Camino Community Center.

During her tenure serving on the Human Services Commission, Young worked with other members to find funds for various social services. Young summed up her life by saying, “I’ve gained far more than I ever gave. That’s what I want everyone to know.”

Nominations are currently being accepted for the Frances Young Community Heroes award sponsored by General Dynamics. Nominees must be ages 14 or older whose volunteer services directly benefit Scottsdale citizens and/or Scottsdale organizations. They may not have previously received public recognition for their volunteer efforts. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, September 3.

Do you know someone who is a community hero and who deserves to be recognized? Now is your chance to say “thanks” for all they do!

For more information and to download the nomination form visit www.gdc4s.com/about/community.

Nominate a hero today!

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Finding my Passion and Making a Difference!

By Stefanie Lerner, Class 23
Director of Sales & Marketing at Encore Creative

I began the Scottsdale Leadership program with what I thought was an open mind.  I knew I wanted to get deeper involved in my community and thought Scottsdale Leadership would offer exposure to a host of opportunities, that it did.  I assumed with my professional background and areas of interest I would connect to the arts community or something of that nature. Little did I know that my heart would be grabbed by Phoenix Youth at Risk’s New Pathway’s mentoring program for freshmen at Scottsdale’s Coronado High School.

Fast forward to me signing up, being selected as a mentor, and being paired with Cheyenne for our 10 month journey.  I know that this program, and my involvement in it, is helping to change the trajectory of a young person’s life.  When I met Cheyenne (14 years old) she was prone to gang involvement, drug/alcohol use and self abuse as ways of dealing with life.

After 10 months in this program and with its amazing self empowerment curriculum and community building, Cheyenne found she has a talent and love of writing poetry.  Together we found some poetry open mic readings at Mama Java’s Coffee House and I brought her to hear other poets read.  She got up on that very first day (poems in her pocket…  I didn’t even know about) and read publicly.  She’s since been “publishing” her poetry on Facebook and even signed up to read her poetry at the New Pathways Talent Show….and was awarded …Best Overall Talent. There is no greater pride than seeing her proud of herself, proud of her accomplishments, and making positive choices.

Phoenix Youth at Risk is always looking for new mentors and they run several programs. While I’m just one person, volunteering a small amount of time, I know I am doing something extremely important.  I am making a difference.

For more information on Phoenix Youth at Risk please visit: http://www.phoenixyouthatrisk.org/

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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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Countdown to Graduation

By CHRIS IRISH
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

This is the time of year that I always get a little melancholy.  Class 24 graduates tonight! I know I’ll miss the time we spend together on Scottsdale Leadership Fridays.  I have thoroughly enjoyed learning alongside them, gaining an understanding of their perspectives and seeing the “lights come on” when a topic or cause ignites their interest.  It’s been rewarding for me to be part of the journey that has helped them identify how they can best give back to the community.

So yes, I’m sad; but I’m also proud.  The members of ‘Class 24 – 24 Karat Gold’ have made good use of the last nine months.  They connected with the theory of “the cycle of poverty”.  They debated the effectiveness of the AIMS test.  They discussed how personal responsibility must be part of healthcare. They relished the opportunity to talk one-on-one with elected officials and slowly digested the personal sacrifices it takes to be a true community steward.

On Public Safety Day, Class 24 literally put out a fire.  On Quality of Life Day they hiked the preserve.  And perhaps most impressive, Class 24 planned and implemented six community service projects that will benefit thousands.

Funny, I’m not feeling sad anymore!  Scottsdale Leadership Class 24 is a success story that is going to get more interesting as time progresses. I look forward to each and every class member increasing their impact on the community by taking the lead… they are ready, willing and able!

Congratulation to the newest graduates of Scottsdale Leadership!

Zack Barna, GuideLight Marketing
Marc Blonstein, Berens, Kozub & Kloberdanz, PLC
Deanne Boynton Grupp, Scottsdale CVB
Jacky Burke, Body Definitions
Johnny Cervantes, Scottsdale Police Department
Jennifer Clark, DC Ranch Community Council
Kevin Classen, FirstBank of Arizona
Ted Collins, retired
Nicole Corning, MetLife Home Loans
Kathy Coster, Scottsdale Public Library
Chauna Cox
Stacey D’Abate, Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc.
John Damiris, UMB Bank Arizona
Dr. Mia Darling
Patrick Eichen, U of A – Eller College of Mgmt.
Michelle Evard, Evard Financial Advisors, PLLC
Suzette Gibson, SRP
Kathleen Glenn, TBA Global
Mary Holman, Enterprise Bank and Trust
Jeff Jameson, Jameson Associates
Branch Johnson, Vault Financial, LLC
Sona Koltookian, Monster.com
Joe Laux, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Ken Levine, Scottsdale Insurance Company
Laurie McCammon, self-employed piano teacher
Sylvia McDowell, RE/MAX Fine Properties
Brent Mekosh, Mekosh Financial Services of Raymond James
David Nelson, Scottsdale Insurance Company
Juliana Norvell, Arizona Capitol Times
Suzanne Paetzer, TriAra Consulting, LLC,
Jose Penalosa, Jr., Penalosa & Associates, P.C.
Paige Perry, Mayo Clinic
Jay Pizarro, Foodies Like Us
Charles Popeck, Green Ideas
Sheri Rayes, Arizona Dept. of Economic Security
Bridget Schwartz-Manock, Central Arizona Project
Mike Seiden, retired president of Western International University
Elizabeth Teitel, Gebert Contemporary Art Gallery
David Valencia, EJM Development Co.
Craig Whitten, UBS Financial Services
Julius Williams, retired
John Zicarelli, CAME, LLC

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Class 24 Helps Scottsdale Public Library Set the Green Standard

By MELISSA RZEPPA, Class 23
Partner & PR Director – Serendipit Consulting

Scottsdale Leadership Class 25 is certainly going to have a LOT to live up to with all of the buzz that Class 24 has been getting for their Pay it Forward projects! Most recently, this article was published on the American Libraries website, recognizing the Scottsdale Public Libraries for its “Meet Green” program that was instituted earlier this year.

With the help of Class 24, the Scottsdale Public Library system now asks patrons who want to use the library’s meeting rooms to follow a simple, eco-friendly set of guidelines, including:

– refrain from handing out paper unless absolutely necessary
– use refillable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles
– use recycled materials when serving food
– use appropriate recycling containers
– turn off all lights and equipment used at the end of the meeting

How great would it be if all public meeting spaces asked these same rules of all patrons?

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Leadership Experiences should be shared

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

In today’s Scottsdale Republic an article by Russell Helwig titled “Share Leadership Experiences” was very engaging. From time to time you may read articles by John Hersey or books like Stephen R. Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but how often do you share your experiences? We each have knowledge that could benefit others.  To make a difference in our community we need to not only listen to what others have to say but also contribute our knowledge so others can learn.

The article discusses how we should be taking the lead and share a story, tip or leadership lesson. Helwig says “Leadership is not about thinking you have all the answers” and I agree. He is asking you and I, as leaders, to voice our opinions so we can share are experience with all.

Now I want to know, what knowledge will you share today?

Inspirational speaker Russell Helwig writes a leadership column for the AZ Republic.  He can be reached at 623-334-1641 or russ@inspireandlead.com.

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‘Pay It Forward’ Project Inspires Scottsdale Citizens to Think Big

By MELISSA RZEPPA, Class 23
Partner & PR Director – Serendipit Consulting

Suzanne Paetzer, a member of Scottsdale Leadership‘s class 24 (and soon-to-be graduate) wrote a great “Letter to the Editor” that was published in the Arizona Republic – Scottsdale Edition today about the Pay It Forward projects and the positive impact the projects had on Scottsdale citizens.

In the article, Suzanne says that she is “inspired to think big and deliver big results.” We hope that everyone who attended the presentations left with that same inspiration! Read the full article on AZCentral.com here.

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Interfaith Movement – Peace and Harmony as Everyday Thought

By PAIGE PERRY,Class 24
Major Gifts Officer, Mayo Clinic

While Arizona is known for our sunshine and golf, we are sadly not known as one of the first states to observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. As a longtime Arizona resident, I remember the arguments from both sides about whether we should observe this day in Rev. Dr. King’s honor, which is why it was an honor for me to attend the 25th Anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast on March 11th and hear from the advocates for this holiday.

The most enlightening portion of the morning was the “Prayers for God’s People.” This set the tone for a morning advocating understanding, peace and love through communication and education. Dr. Paul Eppinger called on different religious leaders to say a prayer. We heard a beautiful Muslim prayer that sounds more like a song, Hindu and Christian prayers, a spiritual song for the people of Haiti. It’s amazing to me that while all the prayers that were said were about love and honoring a higher power we have a few extremists whose actions have caused religious wars throughout the years and through the lands.

Rev. Warren Stewart, senior pastor at First Institutional Baptist Church, presented a powerful message focused on justice and righteousness, inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. In a world that seems determined to use violent force to make our opinions known, it is good to hear about impactful people, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., who centered their fight around love and non-violent resistance. He wanted the civil rights movement to be fought in the spiritual world and through prayer, as opposed to violence, anger and fear. Through his mission of “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” he proved himself to be a man who represents love and peace.

Dr. Stewart took us through Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Prayer and Action, which asks for prayer for God’s help and guidance, and racial and economic justice. Dr. Stewart asked that the members of the audience add to the list with a few more things that may be worthy of prayers and thoughts, such as praying for revolutionary love for all human beings, which has the greatest power to transform. He had us think about praying for peace and an end to violence. He assumed most of us would not shoot someone out of anger, but we do express or dwell on our hatred of that person, which also expels negativity into the universe. Lastly, he had us think about praying for just immigration reform, remembering that our ancestors were also immigrants.

While I’m not religious in a conventional way, I do consider myself spiritual. This may be why I think it is so wonderful we have Dr. Eppinger leading the Interfaith Movement. So much more can be accomplished by having a diverse group of people gather to create peace and understanding through education. This would be an event King Jr. would be proud to attach his name to.

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