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Ready to lead?

Posted by: rlaccmarcom on Thursday, July 2, 2009
There are so many ways to get engaged and make a difference as a leader in your community, and to positively impact the place where you live, work and play. Sometimes, though, it is easy to mark leadership development as a life goal, but never take any real action toward it. If personal, professional or even political leadership development is on your life list, move it to an action item. Here are two avenues:

Leadership Benton County is a program offered in partnership by the Bentonville/Bella Vista, Rogers-Lowell and Siloam Springs chambers of commerce. Intended to serve as training ground for future leaders, it's an excellent way to develop skills, connections and community knowledge. Participants commit to one Thursday per month during the nine month program (August - May) along with a couple of in-state overnight trips. Applications and information on the class of 2009-2010 are currently available at www.LeadershipBentonCounty.com, and aps are due by Friday, July 10. If it isn't a fit for you or you've already participated, share the link with a team member, friend or other rising star and encourage them to apply!

NWA Emerging Leaders is a relatively new program envisioned as a substantive program for dedicated professionals who wish to be actively engaged in the Northwest Arkansas community, and serves as an ideal springboard for graduates of Leadership Benton County looking to plug in (LBC participation is not required). NWAEL consists of quarterly programs with active workgroups tackling issues and projects of importance to members. The program is intended to create legacy through succession planning, develop candidates for public and private boards and commissions and groom individuals to serve and lead our dynamic communities. While it is an initiative of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, chamber membership is not required for participation. Find more information or apply at www.NWALead.com, or follow the group at www.Twitter.com/NWALead.

Case in point:
This morning, one of the Emerging Leaders workgroups met with Rogers Mayor Steve Womack and Bentonville Mayor Bob McCaslin. The ensuing dialogue on existing and planned recycling and sustainability initiatives in both communities as well as opportunities for bright talent and emerging leaders to plug in was exciting to observe. Best of all, both Mayors captured the essence of the program: the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for service and leadership as well as their tips on success and a few battle wounds with eager young professionals. These emerging leaders can not only support their current leaders and engage others, they will be groomed in the process to serve or run for office themselves. It's exhillerating to watch a concept or idea being executed: here was a group of ready, willing and able new talent who were as anxious to listen and learn from these established community leaders as they were to slowly, respectfully begin the process of preparing themselves and their peers to take the helm.

Jump in, learn, serve and lead!

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