A Message from Your Director (May 2014)

We have all heard about the importance of honed leadership skills, right? There are articles, books, speakers, classes and retreats dedicated to the topic. We know that, to be good leaders, we need to communicate well, be able to delegate, have integrity, treat people with respect, be creative, and if our goal is to be a great leader, we need to be able to inspire and evoke passion. A much less discussed topic is what great leaders do not do, so we thought it would be beneficial to share that side as well.

Some of the actions that leaders want to avoid are obvious, for example, you wouldn’t expect to see a great leader whining, making empty threats or deceiving people. Nor should leaders be closed-minded, or grandiose in their thinking. Great Leaders do not ignore the truth, they are acutely aware of their reality; they do not let their own egos get so overinflated that they think their own magnificence alone can make things happen, they do not act like dictators and they do not make commitments that they cannot keep. Great leaders never say “It can’t be done”. If there is any task worth doing, they will search until they find a way to make it happen.

Leaders don’t wait for other people to do things for them. Nothing stands in the way of accomplishing their goals, certainly not excuses. They are people of action. However, they do understand when it is good to be patient and when it is time to go forward. They also understand the value of delegating. No one can do everything all of the time; delegation is vital to great leadership. They just make sure that those to whom they delegate can actually get the job done.

Leaders don’t let the fear of failure stop them. The average leader will fail many times before he or she succeeds. They are undaunted by failures and view them as golden opportunities to get closer to their goal. Leaders understand that failure is not the end of something hoped for, but a chance to learn to do it better next time.

Great leaders have a variety of personalities and styles. They do not strive to become a copy of someone else. Individuality is important to leadership. While strong principles are important to the integrity of leadership, so is their unique vision.

Leaders never stop learning and growing. I will shamelessly promote our leadership program now… The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce offers an annual leadership program entitled “Leadership Mecosta” and registration is now open for the 2014-2015 class. The program lasts 9 months, participants meet one day per month and enjoy an overnight opening retreat. This is an exciting program, with an incredible heritage and benefits that will last a lifetime.   If you’re a new or existing leader, a business owner, or someone who just wants to learn more about the MecostaCountycommunity, this program is for you. If you believe that your business or organization would benefit from the strengthening of your employees, send them too! After all, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others” – Jack Welch.

Scott Barger, Executive Director of Cran-Hill Ranch, will be serving as the facilitator for the leadership program; Scott is also a Special Appointment Professor atCornerstoneUniversity,Grand Rapids, teaching in the MBA and MM Graduate Programs teaching courses such as Leadership, Organizational Behavior, Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurism andTeamBuilding.  Scott owns his own consulting business, working with businesses, non-profit and government agencies throughout theMidwestregion as well as developing organizational boards and mentoring and coaching several management executives; he is also a certified DiSC personality profile facilitator for individuals and corporate settings.

We are thrilled to have Scott facilitating this year and are excited about the direction of the “Leadership Mecosta” program! If you are interested in registering or would like more information, call the Chamber at 231-796-7649 or visit us at mecostacounty.com.

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