Tag Archives: learning to lead

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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Super Stewards at the Helm!

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience

This is the eighth 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 community stewardship and courageous leadership all about?

On December 18, 2009, Scottsdale Leadership Class 24 explored the role of courageous leadership in community stewardship. Community stewards are the people that help our community to evolve by making tough decisions often with intense public opposition. Sometimes their decisions are very unpopular. They balance the individual needs of a neighborhood or business group with the needs of the entire community. Community stewards remain committed in stressful situations with an eye on future community development and sustainability…………why?

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

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Good Advice for Leaders

By CHRIS IRISH
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

Throughout my life I have been blessed to have many caring and strategic mentors. Some of these relationships were planned. Others were nurtured by friends and colleagues that were kind enough to answer my many phone calls seeking their advice and counsel. I’d like to share some of their wisdom…

No matter how you feel – get up, dress up, and show up
When in doubt, take a deep breath and the next small step forward
Ask for advice, it is usually free
Ask for help, it makes you stronger
Make peace with your mistakes or you will repeat them
Share what you know and you’ll learn so much more
You can’t lead unless others chose to follow
No matter if a situation is good or bad, the situation will change
Always observe leadership – the good, the bad and the ugly
Life is too short to waste time being angry
Attitude is everything
Believe in yourself and others will too
The best is yet to come

If you’d like to share some advice – I’m interested.

If you want to read more on this topic, here’s a good article: Best Advice for Leaders: Stop, Look, Listen by Albert Vicere

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Goals for your Community Service

By CHRIS IRISH
Scottsdale Leadership Executive Director

Happy New Year!  The start of the year is the perfect time to set goals for that year, the decade and possibly even your lifetime.  I’m not referring to career or personal goals; I’d like to challenge you to set goals for your community service.

Most people don’t set goals for their community service, but we should.  Goals motivate and inspire us; they make our achievements more meaningful.  While the process for setting these goals will be similar to how you establish your career goals, it can be much more impactful!

First, make yourself FEEL…what are you passionate about, what tugs on your heart strings? Is it hunger, homelessness, illiteracy, or racism?  Obesity, addiction, or domestic violence?  Perhaps your interests deal more with improving the quality of life for the community as a whole.  Are you concerned about … transportation, blight, preservation, arts & culture?

Second, BRAINSTORM… most likely there is already an organization, commission or other entity working to address your issue.  Talk with their key leaders about how you could effectively expand or improve their efforts.  If you are already involved with this issue, get clear about what role you need to play to make a bigger impact.

Finally, SET GOALS for your community service.  Clearly identify the steps you will take to meet these goals.  Set specific tasks to be completed.  Be realistic in what can be achieved.

Community service gives meaning to our life.  Having goals will keep you on track, increase your achievements and enable you to celebrate your accomplishments! Get started today.

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Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI)

By TERRI RABICOFF
Scottsdale Leadership Class XIX

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

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EI) Part One

Ever observe someone you considered an ineffective leader and wonder why they were in a leadership position?  They are intelligent and have the cognitive abilities to do the job, but do they have people skills—the interpersonal intelligence?  They may have a genius level IQ, but are clueless when it comes to dealing with people.  Here is where emotional intelligence (EI) can play a key role in determining the difference between an effective leader and an ineffective leader.  Defined by Daniel Goleman, EI is the noncognitive abilities that help people adapt to all aspects of life.  His research argued that these human competencies (interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies) play a larger role than cognitive intelligence in determining success in life and in the workplace, separating average from the first-rate performers.  While the findings are not sufficient to state “conclusively” that leaders with high levels of EI are better leaders, 25+ years of empirical studies done in the fields of IQ and EI show that there are clear connections between the higher ranges of EI and the possession of skills and abilities associated with leadership excellence. Gaining an understanding of those connections provide individuals in leadership positions ammunition in their efforts to enhance leadership performance.

While leadership performance has always been considered important, events in the last several years like 9/11 and the Enron and WorldCom scandals have brought to the forefront the amount of power and influence a leader can have over his or her followers.  When organizations stop and consider significant questions such as what motivates a leader to choose a certain course of action, what causes people to follow someone they perceive as a leader and when does leadership become detrimental or ineffective, they may need to reexamine the methods and approaches in which they recruit, hire, develop and promote leaders in the workplace.

Organizations promoting individuals based solely on their business expertise and ignoring their emotional intelligence competencies could lead to poor individual performance as a leader, employee attrition and potential organization failure in the areas of internal recruiting and hiring practices and organizational succession planning.  Studies reveal that “when selection, training, and succession planning are based on the emotional intelligence models, organizational as well as individual effectiveness improves” (Bar-on, Handley & Fund). Weisinger, in his book Emotional Intelligence at Work, asserts that “the lack of emotional intelligence undermines both an individual’s and a company’s growth and success.”

One approach to studying and analyzing leadership behavior is to delve into the implications that emotional intelligence contributes to effective performance.  My MBA thesis was an “Exploratory Study of the Significant Contribution That Emotional Intelligence Competencies Can Have on the Successful Transition of an Employee from Individual Contributor to That of a People Leader”.  In conducting my research, I was surprised at how many organizations did not include EI in their hiring, training and promotion programs.

Please share your thoughts and experience on this subject. 

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Courageous Conversations Before Lunch!

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the seventh 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.

On December 4, Scottsdale Leadership class day was a bit different than normal. Instead of covering one topic the day consisted of three elements. Class 24 started with a Leadership Academy, continued on to Scottsdale Leadership’s 10th Annual Spirit of Community Leadership Awards Luncheon and then the class spent the afternoon working in on our Pay it Forward team projects.

How fierce is Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 24?
Not in terms of demeanor, but in how we approach conversation. Having a robust, intense, powerful conversation isn’t easy. In fact, 85% of the population feels public speaking is easier than resolving an intense situation, and we all know how much we love public speaking!

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

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The Challenge: Education

By SUZANNE PAETZER
2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the third 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.

Enlightening, confusing and compelling all in one – Education Day, October 9th. From kindergarten to post-college graduate studies, Scottsdale Leadership Class 24 members discovered that Scottsdale has much to offer. The Education Formula seems simple…high expectations that all children can learn + high quality teachers and curriculum + involved parents and community + college = career-ready leaders that are competitive and prosperous with the world! But how do we make this happen?

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

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