What if we got it right?
Preparing ourselves to act and think differently is not an easy task, especially when we think about exercising leadership in our work, in our volunteer roles and in our families. It is hard work to change our behaviors, especially those behaviors that have been engrained in us from an early age.
The world we live in is not what it was ten years ago or even five years ago. Recent events in our nation have highlighted lack of intergovernmental cooperation, intensity of how partisan politics can divide us and how this paralyzes our ability to make progress to solve monumental issues. But everything is not all bad and negative. There are great things happening in Butler County communities. How many times did your parents say to you “Don’t focus on the negative, look at the positive”? I know my parents did and I have said the same to my own children. I also know it is easier said than done but we also need to look at how we change the negative.
Looking at our current environment, here is a summary of the positive and negative things that are currently happening in our environment.
• Lack of trust – public behavior around many issues have become polarized and often uncivil
• Integrity – has taken a bashing as we look at scandalous behavior across the nation
• Accountability – from education and social work to our work places, we are all being asked to demonstrate the validity of our work, creating outcomes that are justifiable
• A changing workforce and workplace – in the book The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida explains his research that 30% of our work is creative or knowledge based – working with our intellect and not with our hands. He states “we must be tolerant of all lifestyles, one that fosters creative work”.
• Technology – has changed how we work, with whom we work and how we communicate. According to Thomas Friedman in “The World is Flat”, our world has been flattened by technology, information systems, the global economy, outsourcing and world-wide shopping. What we do in our local communities impacts the rest of the world.
• Young adults are returning home – there is always the pull to come home. I have seen many from our youth program return home, which is what we want. Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting states “Communities need to provide a meaningful opportunity to come home”.
If we got it right, what would our communities look like? What would the people in positions of authority be like? What could I do to see that progress is made on the issues I care about? These are all forward thinking questions and ones that could prepare us for changing the way we look at our communities, the people in positions of authority (elected officials, etc) and the way we look at ourselves and the issues our communities face.
What are the possibilities and whose responsibility is it?
Resources for this article: Contemporary Consulting, Pat Heiny and Mary Jo Clark.
For more information on this topic and more, contact Becky Wolfe, Executive Director Leadership Butler, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.leadershipbutlerinc.org