Saturday, March 17, 2007

ED Leader Newsletter, Number 3

Dear Reader:

Welcome to the third issue of the ED Leader Newsletter.

Scroll down and you will find:
  • Can economic developers be authentic leaders?
  • Don Iannone's views on economic development leadership.
  • Character's role in leadership.
  • Appreciative inquiry as a tool for leadership.
  • Creative and spiritual dimensions of leadership.
  • Should state ED associations build leadership capacity in states?

Enjoy and let me know what you think. Don's email.

Please drop by the ED Leader Blog: (You can now leave comments without registering. It's simple.)

Best wishes,

Don Iannone

Publisher, ED Leader Journal

Character Quotes

"Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence."

— Bernard Montgomery
British Field Marshall

"The respect that leadership must have requires that one's ethics be without question. A leader not only stays above the line between right and wrong, he stays well clear of the gray areas."

— G. Alan Bernard
President, Mid Park, Inc

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

— Abraham Lincoln

"Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions."

— Dag Hammarskjold

"We aim to develop physique, mentality and character in our students; but because the first two are menaces without the third, the greatest of these is character."

— Joseph Dana Allen, Headmaster
Poly Prep Magazine Fall 1989

"Character is destiny."

— Heraclitus

"Character is power."

— Booker T. Washington

"You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one."

— James A. Froude

"God grant that men of principle shall be our principal men."

— Thomas Jefferson

"The force of character is cummulative."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Character is the indelible mark that determines the only true value of all people and all their work."

— Orison Sweet Marden

"Character is power; it makes friends, draws patronage and support and opens the way to wealth, honor and happiness."

— J. Howe

"Successful leadership is not about being tough or soft, sensitive or assertive, but about a set of attributes. First and foremost is character"

— Warren Bennis

"Dreams are the touchstones of our character"

— Henry David Thoreau

"Character is the firm foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character."

— R. C. Samsel

"No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character."

— John Morley

"Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are to some extent a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece—by thought, choice, courage and determination."

— John Luther

"While you, the leader, can teach many things, character is not taught easily to adults who arrive at your desk lacking it. Be cautious about taking on reclamation projects regardless of the talent they may possess. Have the courage to make character count among the qualities you seek in others."

— John Wooden

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them."

— Alfred Adler

"Every man has three characters—that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has."

— Alphonse Karr

"In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do."

— Stephen Covey

Friday, March 16, 2007

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

If you haven't read John Maxwell's The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader : Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow, I highly recommend it.

Here are the 21 qualities discussed in his book:

1. Character: Be a Piece of the Rock
2. Charisma: The First Impression Can Steal the Deal
3. Commitment: It Separates Doers from Dreamers
4. Communication: Without It You Travel Alone
5. Competence: If You Build It, They Will Come
6. Courage: One Person with Courage Is a Majority
7. Discernment: Put an End to Unsolved Mysteries
8. Focus: The Sharper It Is, the Sharper You Are
9. Generosity: Your Candle Loses Nothing When It Lights Another
10. Initiative: You Won't Leave Home Without It
11. Listening: To Connect With Their Hearts, Use Your Ears
12. Passion: Take This Life and Love It
13. Positive Attitude: If You Believe You Can, You Can
14. Problem Solving: You Can't Let Your Problems Be a Problem
15. Relationships: If You Get Along, They'll Go Along
16. Responsibility: If You Won't Carry the Ball, You Can't Lead the Team
17. Security: Competence Never Compensates for Insecurity
18. Self-Discipline: The First Person You Lead Is You
19. Servanthood: To Get Ahead, Put Others First
20. Teachability: To Keep Leading, Keep Learning
21. Vision: You Can Seize Only What You Can See

Who is John Maxwell? Click here and read his story.

Buy Maxwell's book here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Don Iannone on ED Leadership

As many of you know, I have been doing research on and speaking about economic development leadership issues over the past couple years.

If you would like a sample of my thoughts on economic development leadership, please feel free to click on this link and download a 2005 keynote presentation I gave at the Pacific-Northwest Economic Development Council's Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon.

I would be most interested in your thoughts. Email me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

State ED Associations' Role in ED Leadership Development

Almost every state has an economic development association. I believe these organizations could be powerful catalysts for developing improved leadership in economic development.

Since I am currently working in five states, I will list the state ED associations for these states. Click on the links and find out about the great work they are doing:

Pennsylvania Economic Development Association

Ohio Economic Development Association

Indiana Economic Development Association

Michigan Economic Developers Association

Arizona Association for Economic Development

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Can Economic Developers Be Authentic Leaders?

In my own life, being authentic has become much more important. Why? Because that is what we are supposed to do in life; we are supposed to be real.

Authenticity is not a skill you can simply pick up at a weekend seminar, and then go home and use it like the new barbeque grill you bought. Authenticity is about how you lead your life everyday. It is about being true to yourself and others. It is about knowing who you really are and knowing how to use your unique and special gifts to serve others.

I get disgusted with myself when I pretend to be something that I'm not. I don't like myself when I am anything less than real. It also frustrates me to see this behavior in others. There is too much pretending in the world. Yes, people get too caught up in playing their roles and they forget who they really are. I see it everyday in economic development.

I was talking with a colleague the other day about authentic leadership. He raised a very important point that many people raise about their own ability to lead authentically. His point was: "People play roles in their work, in part to protect themselves, but also because everybody else plasy roles. There is a price to pay for not playing along, even though we don't want to." I agree with your my friend, but I think there is a different price we should be even more concerned about. There is a price to pay for not being real. That price is we lose our true identity and we perpetuate the hoax that people cannot be authentic in their work.

Can economic developers become authentic leaders? I believe they can, but they must be willing to reshape themselves in line with their true nature. What could motivate economic developers to become more authentic leaders? Read on.

I read a recent article on authentic leadership by Jeff Yergler, the Principal of Integer Leadership Consulting. It impressed me because it laid wide open the real issues surrounding authentic leadership--something much talked about but less often done by business, government, educational and community leaders.

What motivates leaders to seek authenticity? Here are the reasons identified by Yergler:

  • A sense of emptiness and meaninglessness in one's work in general and one's work within the organization in particular.
  • Frustration over the need to "be someone they are not" in and beyond the organization.
  • The inward desire to lead more humanely and supportively with and for others.
  • A personal failure that points to a discrepancy or an incongruence between who one is and who one purports to be.
  • An organizational failure that causes a crisis of self-worth and confidence.
  • A passion to create a change within the organizational culture that begins with an accepted change in oneself (especially for executives who realize that they must act first if anything is going to shift).

Read Yergler's article here.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The John Templeton Foundation

The mission of the John Templeton Foundation is to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity.

The vision is derived from John Templeton’s commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The Foundation’s motto “How little we know, how eager to learn” exemplifies its support for open-minded inquiry and its hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries.

In the Charter establishing his philanthropy in 1987, John Templeton expresses that his Foundation should serve as a philanthropic catalyst for research on concepts and realities such as love, gratitude, forgiveness and creativity. Twenty years later, the Foundation continues to fund rigorous scientific research and related cutting-edge scholarship on a wide spectrum of Core Themes:

Freedom & Free Will
Human Flourishing
Mind & Intelligence
New Concepts of God
Prayer & Meditation
Science and Religion
Spiritual Capital
Spiritual Development
Spiritual Transformation
Spirituality & Health
Ultimate Reality
Unconditional Love

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Appreciative Inquiry: An Idea of Note

Perhaps economic development should be looking at the merits of Appreciative Inquiry as an approach to managing and leading ED organizations.

Appreciative Inquiry is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms.

AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential. It centrally involves the mobilization of inquiry through the crafting of the “unconditional positive question” often-involving hundreds or sometimes thousands of people.

In AI the arduous task of intervention gives way to the speed of imagination and innovation; instead of negation, criticism, and spiraling diagnosis, there is discovery, dream, and design. AI seeks, fundamentally, to build a constructive union between a whole people and the massive entirety of what people talk about as past and present capacities: achievements, assets, unexplored potentials, innovations, strengths, elevated thoughts, opportunities, benchmarks, high point moments, lived values, traditions, strategic competencies, stories, expressions of wisdom, insights into the deeper corporate spirit or soul-- and visions of valued and possible futures.

Taking all of these together as a gestalt, AI deliberately, in everything it does, seeks to work from accounts of this “positive change core”—and it assumes that every living system has many untapped and rich and inspiring accounts of the positive. Link the energy of this core directly to any change agenda and changes never thought possible are suddenly and democratically mobilized.

Learn more about AI here.