Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Leadership Summit Shows the Path to Better Leadership Is Just One Leap Away

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Leadership Summit Shows the Path to Better Leadership Is Just One Leap Away

Article excerpt

An intimate group of elected and appointed officials gathered at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., to discuss and realize new insights into their leadership styles. The 2009 Leadership Summit brought together both new members and more seasoned officials for two and a half days of self-discovery.

The summit, titled "The Strength and Spirit of Leadership in Local Government," highlighted the importance of understanding the value of personal empowerment in leading.

Summit facilitator Sylvia Lovely, president of NewCities Institute and the executive director/CEO of the Kentucky League of Cities, encouraged participants to learn from past personal struggles that made them stronger today.

South Miami, Fla., Vice Mayor Brian Beasley agreed.

"I would say that the most powerful lesson for me was the importance of focusing on issues that are most imperative over those of importance," Beasley explained. "As I dwell on that lesson, I think also of the mistakes that I have made during my first year in office trying to solve all of our city problems within a day instead of prioritizing."

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Trainers Eric Boles, president of Edge Learning Institute, and Barbara Mackoff, author of five leadership books, emphasized how essential understanding personal strengths is to good leadership. Through small group discussions, participants worked together to identify their core leadership abilities and support each other in remembering individual strengths.

"I like this summit for its smaller groups," Councilwoman Kimberly Robinson of Gary, Ind., commented. "They are very comfortable."

Boles underscored the importance of not only recognizing one's fears and hesitancies, but also taking the extra step to "jump off the lily pad" and make a change. Participants learned that the paralyzing effect of fear is necessary to overcome. …

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