It’s a World of Great Opportunity

It’s a World of Great Opportunity “The world of great opportunity is available now, as it has always been, only for those with great vision.”  This is a quote from Andrew Carnegie, and it focuses on the importance of being visionary – looking forward not with trepidation, but with hope, courage, and enthusiasm. The world around us can seem to be spinning out of control, and it is easy to feel helpless and discouraged. Leading in these times can be challenging at best, and without appropriate leadership skills, it can be a tough road.

I have been doing some research on what are the most important skills a leader needs to develop and implement, especially when in difficult situations. It wasn’t a surprise to read that communication is vital.  Communication needs to be frequent, clear, and concise, and the person communicating needs to ensure that the recipient heard the message correctly. I can’t assume that you understood my message unless I ask for feedback.  Another item that is so important is to ensure that you are supporting your team and that they truly feel that support. Empathy and compassion towards others (and towards yourself) are also a part of leadership that should not be neglected.  Self-care as a leader is essential. If I don’t take the time to re-energize, I cannot expect my people to do so either.

Expressing gratitude is also critical. A simple thank you, a recognition of work well done, and a small token of appreciation goes a long way. It is also important to offer opportunities for your people to hear from, and learn from, other leaders. So is having a group of colleagues that you can bounce ideas and problems off of is very helpful for continued growth and self-development.

The participants in the current Leadership Siouxland class have had the opportunity to hear from many great leaders in our community. Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller; Iowa Director of Economic Development Debi Durham; Julian Lee, DBA, MHA of Siouxland Community Health Center; and Heidi Kammer-Hodge MSW of Briar Cliff University are just some of the great leaders who shared their insights, experiences, and wisdom with the group. These interactions as well as the interactions with other class members are vital in helping people alter their perspective, find their voice, and their passion, and gain the courage to pursue it. Learning about our community – what is great, what is lacking, what are the met and the unmet needs – is always a great journey. This year, our class is teaming up with several different organizations to complete projects that will positively impact our community. The process of working together as a team to choose a need that speaks to the group’s combined passions, then working together to determine the project’s scope and goals, and then actually completing the project and measuring the achieved results is a wonderful experience for each team member. 

If you are interested in being part of our next Leadership Siouxland class, submit your application! Applications are accepted through August, but class size is limited so please apply now. You won’t regret taking advantage of this great leadership opportunity.

By Peggy Smith, the Executive Director of Leadership Siouxland since 2017. Applications are now accepted to join the 2024 – 2025 class.

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