On leadership

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2019

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Our communities are special places to individuals who have provided leadership over the years in neighborhoods, charitable organizations, faith communities, government, and schools. Our leaders are volunteers who care enough to step into a role — often again and again and again. They share their natural gifts and talents, heart, wisdom and time. As our communities grow and age, so does the need for new leaders. How do we cultivate broadly and deeply informed residents willing to serve, especially as the environments needing leaderships are becoming increasingly complex?

That was the foundation’s question last year. Thanks to a team of Leadership Winston-Salem (LWS) alumni and other local leaders, the inaugural class of Leadership Lewisville-Clemmons will launch in October as a new program of the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce. The program is patterned after similar programs around the country, including LWS. Participants will gain a deeper knowledge of our communities’ history, the array of resources and services, and share experiences and learning alongside new and existing leaders. The graduates will become ready candidates to serve groups that guide our future.

I have had the privilege of providing some support to the planning team led by Lewisville Mayor Mike Horn. It has been a marvelous group and process to witness. Each team member worked with contagious energy and enthusiasm as they discussed program content and speakers, worked in subcommittees, and completed homework and made contacts. This group of about 15 local residents has been thoughtful about creating interactive and hands-on experiences to maximize learning and understanding. They’ve discussed and included diverse perspectives and thorny issues within each topic. In the process, even this diverse group of seasoned leaders welcomed new information and appreciated each other and the topics in new ways, which affirms that great leaders never stop listening and learning. As an example, it was beautiful to see leaders from neighboring communities of different visions work together with such respect and interest in each other while focused together on the goal. The planning team modeled every aspect of good leadership and I am grateful to have witnessed how they lead and work.

There is no proven formula for cultivating perfect leaders. Yet, it is clear from working with the planning team of LWS graduates, these programs result in a ready pool of capable individuals who are informed, energized, and with a network of strong relationships to more effectively spring into service. The successful outcomes will be evident in our communities for years to come. If you are considering a leadership role with any organization, consider applying for enrollment in Leadership Lewisville-Clemmons and benefit from the work and wisdom of those who have gone before you.  Contact Denise at denise@leadershiplc.com for an application or more information.

Sandi Scannelli is president and CEO of the Clemmons Community Foundation.