Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why is it so hard to get any thing done correctly?

Yesterday, at the Clayton offices of Gallup Johnson and Neuman, I attended a Young Leadership Focus Group. I had little idea of what to expect, and the outcome was far different from what those, who did know what to expect, had anticipated.

When I was asked to be part of the focus group to help create an innovative community-wide leadership development initiative, I was flattered... and not entirely certain what I had signed up for.

At the GJN offices, around a huge board room table, two consultants from the East Coast explained that they wanted to know our thoughts on the development needs in the community.

The conversation quickly took a turn towards discussing engagement and marketing, as opposed to developing the already engaged members of the community.

This didn't sit well with one of the participants, who maintained that this was not to forum to discuss those issues, as it was about providing development opportunities for those already plugged in.

The fact is, so it seems, that these two issues, of engaging and developing new leaders, as well as providing deeper and more robust training for those on boards and moving through that nebulous world, are deeply tied together, even as they are wholly different discussions.

The number of people who are deeply involved with cabinets and boards is fairly small, and that crew seems to recycle people from one board to the next.

As important as it is to make sure that those people are equipped with the necessary skills to be effective board member and lay leaders, the other side to that coin is bringing in and engaging new talent.

There is a careful balance that must be struck between making it appear to be an honor to be on a board, and making the boards too elite.

By all accounts, it was an interesting meeting, sparked some great discussions, and make a few connections.

We'll be interested to see what develops and will keep you posted.

What do you think are the community leadership development needs?

1 comment:

Norm said...

Your Federation young leadership group should ask the board why it continues to subsidize the orthodox schools in this comunity when the orthodox comunity disrespects virtually every federation giver. See my blog post of today and previous posts.

You might also see today's NY Times Web posting: