Nick Molinari, Class 26
City of Scottsdale
The Class 26 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.
On May 4, Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26 capped off a nine-month journey that had a dramatic impact on all of us. The goal of Leadership Emerging Day, which was the last class in the program, was to reflect on the Scottsdale Leadership experience, evaluate our “toolkits” and develop strategies for future community involvement. It is admittedly a bit hard for me to articulate the experience of the class as I got so much more out of it than expected.
The program days were interesting and packed with information, inspiring stories and tools for successful community stewardship. The leadership academy days addressed critical development areas and our projects were great examples of how small groups of people can have a dramatic impact.
So what were the takeaways? What each of us learned about Scottsdale – the unique pieces that make our puzzle such a dynamic one – is almost immeasurable. We have a better understanding of the elements that make our city tick. Each of us has a “lifetime toolkit” that we can draw upon to make a difference in our community. But we all got so much more out of Scottsdale Leadership than that.
The soul of any program is in its people. While we all learned a great deal about our city, what we got from each other far outweighed anything else. It’s the relationships, friendships and mentors that I gained that will last a lifetime. Hopefully, some of those connections will be the root of change in Scottsdale.
As we look to the future and think about how Class 26 will use our toolkits, here are some things I will keep in the back of my mind:
- Know yourself: During our class day Eileen Rogers said, “To be a good steward, you need to know yourself. Your passions and values need to align with your actions.” These are words to live by, indeed. To be successful leaders, we need to know what is important to us. We need to understand what strengths we bring to the table and how we can apply those skills to make a difference to things that matter to us.
- Have passion: If you are going to be of significance, you have to have passion for what you’re doing. My classmate Ted Taylor exemplifies many of these takeaways. He definitely knows himself and man is he passionate. Each time I listened to Ted talk about the things that inspired him, I was moved. Whether he talked about the homeless or immigration or his family, he spoke with such deep conviction that I couldn’t help but be motivated.
- Enjoy the ride: You have to enjoy what you’re doing. It shows. Choose purposefully where you spend your time and engage yourself with things and people that make you happy. We will definitely have a more significant long-term impact if we’re having a good time on the ride.
With that, we draw things to a close. It was a great ride and I’ll miss seeing all my new connections every other Friday. Nevertheless, I anticipate getting many kicks with Class 26 for quite a long time!