Leading the Way – Leadership Siouxland

I always love this issue of Siouxland Magazine that highlights ten young people who are dynamically impacting our community. Communities, like bread, become stale from just sitting there. It is new ideas, energy, and passion that keep our community vibrant and ever fresh.

People by nature are fearful of change and tend to resort to “how it’s always been.” There is a comfort in the tried and true, even if the tried and true is not really working any longer or doesn’t make sense. 

Here is a great story that has been passed around for years and not attributed to any one individual. The story points out how tried and true sometimes should be questioned… A woman was preparing to cook a ham for the holiday meal. Her son was helping and watched his mother cut off a couple of inches from each end of the ham. He asked why she was wasting good ham, and his mother replied, “Well, this is the way my mother taught me to make ham.” The son questioned the reason and called his grandma, who replied, “Well, that was the way my mother taught me.” The great grandma had passed away, but great-grandpa was still living, so the son called his great grandpa and asked, “Why did Great Grandma cut off the ends of the ham before cooking it?” Great Grandpa was silent as he thought about it for a moment, then he replied, “So the ham could fit in the baking pan.” 

Sometimes, as a community, we tend to continue to do things the way they have always been done, even if that process no longer makes sense. Changing things up is uncomfortable for most people, primarily because we do not know what to expect. There is comfort (and control) in knowing how things will go, and what happens next. When we change and shake things up, we no longer can control the outcome. Taking a chance and doing things differently will result in a different outcome, which can be worse, similar, better, or WAY better! People, and communities, that embrace new ways of tackling old problems thrive. It is not easy to do, and most people don’t realize that managing change effectively is a skill that can be learned.  

Many of the “10 Under 40” recipients over the years have been graduates of Leadership Siouxland, a program that is dedicated to a simple, but important mission: Leadership Siouxland develops diverse, passionate leaders who positively impact our community for today and tomorrow. The program focuses on instilling and enhancing leadership skills, including gratitude, initiative, mindfulness, positivity, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness. Our program is dedicated to helping grow leaders with the goal of creating an even better Siouxland.

Congratulations to this year’s “10 Under 40” recipients – I am excited to see what each of you will accomplish and the positive changes you will initiate!

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